Movie Night At Supreme Court: Justices Ready to Review Hillary: The Movie

hcws_2p_kl_trailer_640We have been following the case involving “Hillary: The Movie” since it first came out during the last presidential campaign. The legal dispute over the film was always more interesting than the film itself — whether this is a film or a 90-minute campaign ad. Now, the Supreme Court is set to review the film. Citizens United v. FEC (08-205) raises a fascinating question of what constitutes political advocacy and what constitutes a documentary. The Court will hopefully not produce another “I know politics when I see it” standard.

The lower court decisions radically curtailed the distribution of the film by restricting the conservative group in broadcasting and promoting the movie during the presidential primaries. In July, a three-judge panel granted the FEC’s motion for summary judgment.

The desire of the group to put the movie in TV-on-demand access on cable TV was shelved due to the FEC’s decision.

Citizen United is challenging the federal “electioneering communications” disclosure requirements in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act — a prohibition on corporations and nonprofits from airing broadcast ads, which refer to a federal candidate 30 days before a primary election. Citizens United is using the Court’s decision in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC, which exempted issue advocacy from the electioneering communications prohibition.

Watching the trailer below, it is hard to distinguish this movie from a campaign ad. However, the rulings below should trouble free speech advocates. The court found that the 90-minute campaign ad “susceptible of no other interpretation than 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.” That may be so, but such a conclusion could also be reached in a perfectly legitimate documentary or parody. Consider Michael Moore’s anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.

The actual restrictions and their impact on the film are a bit more technical. The McCain-Feingold legislation requires that “any broadcast, cable or satellite communications” during the period before an election clearly state the name of the group paying for ad is one such provision.

There is no question that Citizens United, a nonprofit corporation, has a bit of an obsession and hatred for both Clintons. It is the creation of Citizens United President David N. Bossie, a long Clinton critic.

The argument is March 24, 2009.

For a trailer of the movie, click here.
For the full story, click

15 thoughts on “Movie Night At Supreme Court: Justices Ready to Review Hillary: The Movie”

  1. For some reason, I got here after Carol’s comment was excised. Judging by the reactions I guess JT did her a favor. Judging by the few quotes from her shown in the comments she strayed out of her league and into ad hominem.

    Regarding the topic, isn’t this all limned by SCOTUS decision
    that it’s a limit of free speech to limit political donations of a sort, or have I got it wrong? Somehow, with all the other crises at hand the Country has to address the issue of campaign fairness and voting rights. If we can’t get that right then the whole edifice collapses.

  2. A first lady with a “chip” on her shoulders? Me thinks Carol’s rascist white slip is showing {gasp}. So how’d that dude, “the decider,” with “experience” work out for you?

    A bit off topic but court related:

    “A Morrow County court is going BYOP: Bring your own paper.

    The Municipal Court that handles civil, small claims, criminal and traffic cases won’t accept new case filings starting Monday because it’s almost out of supplies and has no money to re-order.

    The court has just enough paper to handle hearing notices and other documents for pending cases, but not new ones, Judge Lee W. McClelland said.

    “Basically, unless they want to provide paper, we can’t process anything,” he said….

  3. Well done Mespo. Carol talks about a President who is going to spend 4 years blaming others. Actually that is incorrect. He will be providing evidence of the Bush regime’s incompetence and lawbreaking for 8 years, not 4. Plus, what did George do after 9/11? He blamed Clinton, of course, who had been out of office for 9 months. This from a guy who wouldn’t leave vacation to protect the country, but he would leave to sign a bill to keep a dead woman alive. Yeah, you got it right again. It seems that the Troll training process needs to be upgraded quite a bit.

  4. carol:

    I have learned after much life experience that the first ploy of the liar is to change the subject when unveiled. How about distinguishing Lincoln’s history from Obama’s and then we’ll talk. I suspect my vocal chords will be safely rested for quite sometime.

  5. Carol

    Can only assume you are a victim of self trepanning with a stick.

  6. carol,

    Your posts are not relevant to the topic. Mespo will soundly trounce all of your jabber because you are a kindergartener compared to his level of language and debate skills.

  7. Carol,

    Why did the Republicans deregulate the financial industry and turn the SEC into ineffective half-wits over the last 8 years thus allowing AIG to become the lovely spectacle of greed and sociopathic stupidity it is today?

  8. carol:

    “mespo, by the way, lincoln was a Republican.’


    Not by today’s standards –or lack of same.

  9. carol:

    “mespo. you are such a sad old impotent fool.”


    True enough but I know how to read and spot an imposter.

  10. Carol:

    Lincoln never held a command position in the US military. He was a captain of an Illinois militia (equivalent to a privately raised National Guard) in the Black Hawk War and never saw combat. He served 4 terms in the Illinois House of Representatives,and one rather undistinguished term in the US House of Representatives. In his most famous campaign against Stephen A. Douglas for the US Senate position, he lost the election by the Illinois legislature. He was elected President of the US in 1860.

    Obama never held a position in the military but was an active community organizer and law professor. He was also the editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama served three terms in the Illinois Senate. He lost a bid for nomination to the US House of Representatives, and won election to the US Senate in 2004 and served until 2008. As most people know, he was elected President in 2008.

    Do manifest facts mean nothing to you neo-cons? Lies are a poor substitutes for rational argument.

  11. carol:

    “For the first time in decades and perhaps ever, America chose a President without executive experience in the public or private sectors, and without military command experience.”


    That would perfectly describe Abraham Lincoln as well. How’d he work out as our 16th President?

  12. Former Fed,
    Well said! All of the Sly Foz News shows noted by the Von Troll family member are about as truthful as George W. Bush himself.

  13. carol,

    Your stats demonstrate that we are in for a very rough road ahead based on illiteracy, nonsense, lies, and misinformation.

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