... Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, arises from “Hillary: The Movie,” a film by a conservative advocacy group released early this year, when Mrs. Clinton was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. The question for the court is whether the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law of 2002 applies to the broadcast of a feature-length film and to television advertisements for it.Before you leap to a conclusion about what the answer ought to be, watch this trailer for the movie:
In January, a three-judge panel of the Federal District Court here said the film was an “electioneering communication” with only one point: “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 panel added that advertisements for the film must include spoken and written disclosures, among them that “Citizens United is responsible for the content of this advertising.”
Citizens United said those requirements were unconstitutionally burdensome. The spoken disclosure, the group told the Supreme Court, “takes about four seconds to narrate, making 10-second ads virtually impossible and 30-second ads difficult to do.”
The McCain-Feingold law prohibits the use of corporate treasury money, including that of nonprofit issue advocacy groups, to pay for much electioneering communication in a window of 60 days before a general election or 30 days before a primary election. James Bopp Jr., a lawyer for Citizens United, said in a statement issued Friday that “the notion that a feature-length movie can be banned is a return to the days of government censorship and book-burnings.”
Doesn't that work as an anti-Hillary ad more than as an ad for the movie? A movie could be made just as a device to immunize ads from the usual requirements.