A harshly critical documentary about Hillary Rodham Clinton will be at the center of a Supreme Court challenge of campaign finance laws next year.
The high court announced Friday it would hear an appeal by Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group that produced “Hillary: The Movie,” a 90-minute attack on the former Democratic presidential candidate as “unfit for office.” It was intended for release during the primaries.
The Federal Election Commission had ruled that, per campaign finance laws, broadcast ads for the docu must include a disclaimer and disclose their funding source. The laws require disclaimer and disclosure information on what the FEC deems “electioneering communications,” which include broadcast messages intended to get people to vote for or against a particular candidate.
Citizens United challenged that requirement in lower court, but a three-judge panel unanimously upheld it, noting that the pic’s sole purpose was “to inform the electorate that Sen. 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.” As such, it qualified as electioneering communication.
When Citizens United first approached the Supreme Court last winter to hear an appeal, the FEC argued that the court did not have jurisdiction (Daily Variety, Mar. 1). Rejecting that argument, the court will now hear the appeal some time between late February and early March.