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KNAU and Arizona News

State Supreme Court rules attack ad by Wendy Rogers is protected by First Amendment

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The Arizona Supreme Court says an attack ad aired during a contentious congressional primary campaign was protected by the First Amendment.

In a 4-3 ruling on Tuesday, the court sided with Wendy Rogers, who is now a Republican state senator with a national profile.

Rogers was sued over a radio ad she aired during the 2018 GOP primary in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District that implied her challenger Steve Smith was linked to sex trafficking.

The justices said allowing the case against Rogers to proceed under the circumstances would “inevitably and intolerably chill political speech.”