- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts’ highest court has heard arguments about a law critics say unfairly limits free speech during state elections.

The 1946 law bans the publishing of false statements about candidates meant to affect their chances on Election Day. The Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments Thursday.

At issue is whether a political action committee crossed that line last year.

State Rep. Brian Mannal says a flier paid for by the Jobs First PAC wrongly suggested he could personally benefit from a bill he filed that would have notified indigent sex offenders of their right to a public defender. The Barnstable Democrat and attorney says he’s not certified to handle sex offender cases.

The case is galvanizing several groups that are urging the court to rule the law unconstitutional.

Mannal narrowly won re-election.

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