SCOTUS puts brakes on anti-Clinton flick


Citizens United must continue its battle to advertise "Hillary: The Movie" in lower courts, say the Supremes. That lets stand a unanimous prior decision that found the piece to be political in nature, and subject to electioneering rules. Essentially, the Supreme Court punted to the DC Circuit, for now.

The lower court ruled that any ads for the movie on Hillary Clinton (D-NY), which is planned for DVD and limited theatrical release, must include a disclaimer and list the organization’s donor if the ads run during the key period before election dates, which is 30 days before a primary and 60 days before a general election.

The Associated Press noted that Michael Moore’s documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" faced similar restrictions, but it was not ever an issue since Moore never had any plans to advertise it during the restricted period.

Citizens United has further plans to put together a movie on Barack Obama (D-IL) if he wins the Democratic nomination. If the lower court ruling stands, it would likely face similar advertising restrictions.

RBR/TVBR observation: The wheels of justice in the USA these days are not likely to be mistaken for flywheels. For example, in 2004, the battle over 527 organizations was raging at about this point of the election cycle, but it was a good two or three years before the FEC got around to providing even a smidgen of clarity, and began fining big 527 spenders after the fact. We would guess that Citizen United’s current court battle, if they are somehow able to get a unanimous court decision reversed, will have more impact on the 2010 midterms than it will on the current election cycle.