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High court to hear appeal over anti-Clinton movie

By The Associated Press
11.14.08

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a conservative group that wanted to promote its anti-Hillary Clinton movie without complying with a landmark campaign-finance law.

The justices, in an order today, said they would review a lower court ruling that the 90-minute "Hillary: The Movie" was clearly intended to influence people to vote against Clinton in her run for the presidency. The movie was made by Citizens United.

The decision to hear the appeal follows a finding by the Court on March 24 that it did not have jurisdiction to review a preliminary injunction requested in the case.

A three-judge court in Washington said the group had to attach a disclaimer and disclose its donors in order to run ads promoting the movie.

James Bopp Jr., the group's lawyer, has devised repeated legal challenges to the 2003 campaign finance law, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which sets limits on corporate- and union-funded political ads that run close to elections and identify candidates.

Although the Supreme Court invalidated those restrictions for ads that are not express advocacy, the judges who ruled in this case said the movie could be seen as nothing but anti-Clinton and intended to influence voters.

It was produced solely "to inform the electorate that Senator Clinton is unfit for office, that the United States would be a dangerous place in a President Hillary Clinton world, and that viewers should vote against her," the judges said in a unanimous ruling.

The case is Citizens United v. FEC, 08-205.


Previous
High court denies request from makers of anti-Clinton movie
Justices let stand lower court ruling that found Citizens United must attach disclaimer and disclose its donors in order to run ads promoting 'Hillary: The Movie.' 03.24.08

Related

FEC asked to probe 2 groups' political TV ads

Democracy 21 claims organizations — one pro-Democrat, one pro-Republican — violated campaign-finance laws. 10.13.08

'Hillary movie:' campaign-finance victim?
By Tony Mauro High court case raises concern over campaign-finance restrictions spilling over into traditionally protected forms of expression. 11.17.08

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