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Old 03-25-2009, 05:23 PM   #3
Madam Broshkina
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For those interested here are the facts of the case:

Quote:
Facts of the Case:

Citizens United sought an injunction against the Federal Election Commission in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent the application of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) to its film Hillary: The Movie. The Movie expressed opinions about whether Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton would make a good president.

In an attempt to regulate "big money" campaign contributions, the BCRA applies a variety of restrictions to "electioneering communications." Electioneering communication is "any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication which -- (I) refers to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office; (II) is made within -- (aa) 60 days before a general, special, or runoff election for the office sought by the candidate; or (bb) 30 days before a primary or preference election, or a convention or caucus of a political party that has authority to nominate a candidate, for the office sought by the candidate." Accordingly, Section 203 of the BCRA prevents corporations or labor unions from funding such communication from their general treasuries. Sections 201 and 311 require the disclosure of donors to such communication and a disclaimer when the communication is not authorized by the candidate it intends to support.

Citizens United argued that: 1) Section 203 violates the First Amendment on its face and when applied to The Movie and its related advertisements, and that 2) Sections 201 and 203 are also unconstitutional as applied to the circumstances.

The United States District Court denied the injunction. The court held that Section 203 on its face was not unconstitutional reasoning that the Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC had already reached that determination. It also held that The Movie was the functional equivalent of express advocacy, as it attempted to inform voters that Senator Clinton was unfit for office, and thus Section 203 was not unconstitutionally applied. Lastly, it held that Sections 201 and 203 were not unconstitutional as applied to the The Movie or its advertisements. The court reasoned that the McConnell decision recognized the disclosure of donors "might be unconstitutional if it imposed an unconstitutional burden on the freedom to associate in support of a particular cause", but those circumstances did not exist in Citizen United's claim.
Question:

1) Did the Supreme Court's decision in McConnell resolve all constitutional as-applied challenges to the BCRA when it upheld the disclosure requirements of the statute as constitutional?

2) Do the BCRA's disclosure requirements impose an unconstitutional burden when applied to electioneering requirements because they are protected "political speech" and not regulable "campaign speech"?

3) If a communication lacks a clear plea to vote for or against a particular candidate, is it subject to regulation under the BCRA?

4) Should a feature length documentary about a candidate for political office be treated like the advertisements at issue in McConnell and therefore be subject to regulation under the BCRA?
Taken from:

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/2008_08_205
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