- The Washington Times - Monday, March 24, 2008

The Supreme Court today rejected without comment an appeal from Citizens United that the group’s promotional ads for a 90-minute political documentary critical of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are protected by First Amendment rights and therefore exempt from campaign finance laws.

The ruling means that the District-based advocacy group must include a disclaimer and disclose its donors in commercials for “Hillary: The Movie,” which includes hard-hiting interviews with Dick Morris, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, Michael Barone, Tony Blankley, Dick Armey, Gary Aldrich, Dan Burton, Michael Medved and 30 other high-profile observers of the New York Democrat during her years as first lady and lawmaker.

“We are back at square one, essentially. This was a technical decision,” said Jim Bopp, an Indiana-based attorney who represented Citizen United in their case. “We plan to continue in the District Court to resolve the case based on its merits.”

In December, the group filed suit against the Federal Elections Commission in U.S. DIstrict Court, arguing that its ads are not proper “electioneering communications” and should not be subject to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. Its suit claimed that the 30-second spots — which include Mr. Morris noting that Mrs. Clinton is a “European socialist”   are meant to promote the film rather than detract from her campaign for president.

Three federal judges did not agree, stating in a unanimous ruling that the film was produced solely “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.” By not accepting the case, the Supreme Court left the appellate court decision in place.

The movie is available on DVD for $25 and has been screened 10 times this year in California, Washington state, Florida, New York, Arizona and the District.

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