Supreme Court to review 'Hillary' movie

March 20, 2009 at 9:38 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- Legal experts say next week's Supreme Court arguments over a 90-minute movie about Hillary Clinton will have an impact on U.S. political campaigns.

The high court will consider whether "Hillary: The Movie" amounted to a documentary film, which is an example of unfettered free speech, or a political ad that is subject to the limits of campaign-finance laws.

The issue revolves around the tone of "Hillary," which was produced during last year's presidential race by a conservative activist group and received finding from certain corporations.

"For generations, federal law has limited the ability of corporations and unions to use their enormous wealth to influence federal elections," Loyola Law School-Los Angeles Professor Richard Hansen told USA Today. "If (key court precedent) were reversed, I expect hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate and union money to pour into … races."

The newspaper said Friday that the activist group Citizens United wanted to air "Hillary" on cable television and via on-demand video while Clinton, the former first lady and U.S. senator from New York and current U.S. secretary of State, was seeking the Democratic Party nomination for president. But the Federal Election Commission ruled it was an electioneering ad and therefore banned from being aired within 30 days of a vote.

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