Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Divided over anti-Hillary movie

March 25, 2009

WASHINGTON - THE US Supreme Court appeared divided on Tuesday over a challenge to a campaign finance law by a conservative group in a case that could open the door to fewer restrictions on political advertising.

The group, Citizens United, released a 90-minute documentary film 'Hillary: The Movie' in January 2008 when Hillary Clinton, then a New York senator, was running for president. She now is secretary of state in President Barack Obama's administration.

Citizens United released the movie to theaters and for store sales on DVD. The group also wanted to broadcast the movie on cable television video-on-demand but that was rejected by a federal court.

The court ruled the movie clearly was intended to influence people to vote against Mrs Clinton and thus was covered by the campaign finance law's ban on the airing of ads or 'electioneering communications' right before an election.

The Supreme Court, with a 5-4 conservative majority, appeared divided while hearing arguments in the case.

A ruling in the case is expected by the end of June. The impact could depend on how broadly or narrowly the court rules on the question of political advertising. -- REUTERS

[Laws against political films? Hey, I thought it only happens in Singapore?]

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