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Ohio Judge Tosses Anti-Abortion Group's Lawsuit

CINCINNATI, Ohio - A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit by an anti-abortion group that claimed Ohio law restricts political speech.

The judge also Monday refused to dismiss former U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus' defamation lawsuit against the group over advertising criticizing his vote on the health care overhaul.

The lawsuits stem from disputes over billboards the Susan B. Anthony List planned during Driehaus' unsuccessful 2010 re-election campaign. The Democrat sought an Ohio Election Commission order blocking the billboards over possibly false claims.

The judge ruled he lacks jurisdiction over the group's claims because the ads were never erected and the commission never ruled whether the billboards violated state law.

The ruling continuing Driehaus' lawsuit says the group may have misled voters by claiming he supported taxpayer-funded abortions.

A lawyer tells The Cincinnati Enquirer the group will appeal.