The case could mark a turning point in the legal battle over campaign-finance reform. The justices have suggested they will be taking a close look at two existing legal precedents with an eye toward overturning them. Both deal with government efforts to restrict corporate spending for certain issue advertising and other political broadcasts immediately prior to elections.
Here's some background on the case from Bill Moyers Journal last week:
BILL MOYERS: Welcome to The Journal. The envelope, please. And the winner for Most Influential Motion Picture in American Politics is "Hillary: The Movie." A no-holds-barred attack that the producers intended for viewing during her campaign for President.
MALE VOICE: Vindictive.
ANN COULTER: Mendacious. Venial. Sneaky.
MALE VOICE: Idealogical. Intolerant
ANN COULTER: Liar is a good one.
MARK LEVIN: Scares the hell out of me.
ANN COULTER: Looks good in pantsuit.
BILL MOYERS: Never heard of it? That's not surprising. Very few people saw it in the first place. But "Hillary: The Movie" may prove to have an impact on the political scene greater than even the producers could have dreamed. That's because it got tied up in a legal battle. A very complex legal battle over federal laws regulating certain aspects of corporate union and special interest funding for political speech in elections.
The film was created by a conservative group called Citizens United. They wanted to use OnDemand television to distribute "Hillary: The Movie" and to buy commercials promoting it. But because the film was partially financed by corporate sponsors, the federal election said no, it would violate the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as the McCain-Feingold which restricts the use of corporate money directly for or against candidates.
Citizens United appealed the case all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was first heard back in March. But the Court did an unusual thing: it asked for more time and ordered new hearings and new arguments for next Wednesday, September 9th. The reason for this special hearing is to more broadly consider the Constitutionality of McCain-Feingold and campaign finance reform in general, whether it denies a corporation the First Amendment right of free speech.
So this obscure little piece of propaganda has become the means by which the court could decide to erase the legal distinction between corporations and individuals. If that happens, some people say, a whole new flood of money will wash over politics increasing dramatically the power of corporations at the expense of democracy.
I get by with a little help from my friends.....
Oooh! I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends
what do you think the outcome will be?