Citizens United

Hillary Clinton's Supreme Court Litmus Test: Overturn the Case That Legalized Anti-Hillary Documentaries

Democratic frontrunner says her judicial nominees must be against Citizens United

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Weirdly, the subject of this movie thinks it should be illegal. |||

When Democrats and progressives complain about the Supreme Court's 5–4 decision in 2010's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission—and they love love LOVE complaining about Citizens United—they tend to sidestep the unlovely fact that according to the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act that they wish to see reinstated, documentary filmmakers with political agendas could go to jail for up to five years if their film makes a politician look bad too close to an election. And in the specific underlying case, the politician in question was Hillary Clinton.

So it should perhaps come as no surprise that the Democratic presidential frontrunner is making Citizens United a litmus test for potential Supreme Court nominees, according to The Washington Post:

Clinton's emphatic opposition to the ruling, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums on independent political activity, garnered the strongest applause of the afternoon from the more than 200 party financiers gathered in Brooklyn for a closed-door briefing from the Democratic candidate and her senior aides, according to some of those present.

"She got major applause when she said would not name anybody to the Supreme Court unless she has assurances that they would overturn" the decision, said one attendee, who, like others, requested anonymity to describe the private session. […]

On Thursday, Clinton also reiterated her support for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United, a long-shot effort that is nonetheless popular among Democratic activists.

"She said she is going to do everything she can," the attendee said. "She was very firm about this – that this Supreme Court decision is just a disaster."

There's a wonderfully clarifying campaign slogan for you: Elect me, and I'll try to put my critics in jail! Perfectly in keeping with Clinton's piss-poor record on free speech.

Reason on Citizens United here.

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  1. This bitch could make an anarchist vote, just to keep her from the levers of power.

    What a totalitarian scuzbuckett.

    1. Democratic frontrunner says her judicial nominees must be against Citizens United the First Amendment

      1. What is scary is it was a 5-4 vote. Citizen’s United should have been 9-0.

        The liberals just need to get it over with and promote a full ban of the bill of rights, that has essentially become their platform.

        1. Didn’t Harry Reid and some other Democrats openly talk about repealing the First Amendment? Oh, wait, he actually scheduled a vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn the First Amendment. The mask, it is totally gone.

        2. Indeed.

  2. There’s a wonderfully clarifying campaign slogan for you: Elect me, and I’ll try to put my critics in jail!

    The ideal progressive.

  3. Remember earlier when everyone was trying to guess what a more genuine Hillary was? Here’s your answer.

  4. Can we put Hillary in jail for making Hillary look bad? She’s the primary offender.

    1. Winner

    2. Hillary Clinton seems to be both the instrument and the victim of a vast, right-wing conspiracy to make her look bad.

      1. She was in on it the whole time!!!

        Bill Clinton is so much better at lying that it’s ridiculous. Hillary’s first impulse is to lie, but it’s usually something that’s easily disprovable. I wonder how much more of that we’re going to see before she drops out of the primaries.

        1. My favorite:
          http://www.wnd.com/2006/10/38409/

          It was her mom’s fault. Totally.

          1. Is there nothing they haven’t lied about or been bribed to do? Did they go to the Shaolin School for the Exceedingly Venal?

            1. “When you can snatch the bribe from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.”

              1. I bet they could do that very early on.

              2. I fairly certain there images of a hammer and a sickle burned into each of her forearms from moving a scalding cauldron of bullshit during her final test.

        2. The only thing that would get her out of the primaries is a fatal heart attack… but I feel your optimism.

        3. Hillary doesn’t lie! (She misspeaks. A lot.)

  5. What difference, at this point, does it make?

    1. Apparently quite a lot, to her.

  6. I wonder what she thinks of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    1. She appears to be sticking to Sedition alone.

  7. Campaign contributions must go through the proper channels, like the Clinton slush fund Foundation.

  8. Any chance Reason can put up trigger warnings before showing huge closeups of her face when I visit their home page?

    1. That is the trigger warning.

  9. Whenever Citizens United comes up I just ask progressives why they think it’s okay to ban books. Because that’s exactly what the government argued it had the power to do under McCain-Feingold.

    Then there’s the fact that their desire for such deadlines like 60 days clearly indicates they think Americans are stupid and can be easily cowed by ads that prevent them from voting “correctly”. By all means, I welcome Hillary opening herself up to that charge.

    In short, the arguments against the CU decision are so flimsy and damaging to the person making them it’s no surprise the progressive wing of the Democratic Party wants to die on that hill. They just can’t help it because the thought of throwing their opponents in jail gives them a raging power boner they can’t contain.

    1. Money isn’t speech!

      Corporations aren’t people!

      Shouting slogans unthinkingly is much better than proper arguing.

      1. Seriously, it’s not even fair when you get into an argument with a prog on this subject because their position is so obviously wrong and not thought out at all.

        Prog: Corporations aren’t people and don’t have free speech!

        Me: So what does that make the New York Times corporation or the ABC corporation? Can the government impose bans on their content?

        Prog: Well no, because freedom of the press.

        Me: But what about the First Amendment implies that the press gets more free speech rights than say the NAACP or ACLU? People can’t lose their rights just because they pool their money to get a message out, which is, at its core, what a corporation is.

        Prog: Well, uh, um, that’s different!

        It’s like beating up the window licker on the short bus.

        1. their position is so obviously wrong and not thought out at all

          But it makes them feel so outraged! I mean, like totally outraged and stuff! Angry too!

          How can their position possibly be wrong if it makes them feel the way it does?

        2. Most of them don’t know what CU was really about. They don’t know there was a movie, and they think it’s about “corporate money as free speech”, but haven’t thought any further about how that actually works. They also don’t understand that “the press” in the 1st Amendment doesn’t mean “the media”, but instead means technology, as in “the printing press”.

          Once you get them to understand these issues, try to then dig into them about “Fahrenheit 9/11”, which is basically exactly what the CU movie was; A movie made by a corporation during an election year, designed to make a candidate look bad.

          Ask them if they want Michael Moore behind bars.

          1. Aw, come on! That’s a principled argument. They don’t give a shit about principles, since consistency is for small minds. They’ve moved beyond that. They have progressed. They are enlightened. Their sense of justice wears no blindfold. They judge not based upon what a person does, but on who the person is.

            Principals, not principles.

          2. “Once you get them to understand these issues, ”

            ha…ha…Ha.Ha…HA HA …HAHAHAHAH !

          3. 1) Was Fahrenheit 9/11 electioneering communication? Per the statute:
            “(A) In general.–(i) The term `electioneering
            communication’ means 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 (rest cut for length)

            It says nothing about books, or movies in the theater, etc. In addition, there was a complaint (filed by Citizen’s United, of all groups!) and it was summarily dismissed, as the movie was commercial activity, not contributions or expenditures:
            http://www.fec.gov/press/press…..09mur.html

            1. So he named it subtly and shoehorned it in before the 60 day headline. Does that mean he could get caught for ‘structuring’?

        3. Corporations aren’t people and don’t have free speech!

          When they toss that canard out, I respond that our freedom of speech doesn’t go away when we act in groups, even if the group in question is a corporation. They also get really pissy when I ask whether their opinions are so flimsy that they’re going to change their mind if someone spends a bunch of money to convince them.

          -jcr

      2. Money isn’t speech, but it sure is necessary for press to happen.

        And corporations don’t have free speech. A corporation is not the sort of thing that is capable of speech. But it pretty obviously does have free press rights.

        I wish people would distinguish speech and press better. It seems to muddy up this whole issue. Speech is an individual opening their mouth and saying something. Press is every other means of communication. And they are both absolutely protected. And the first amendment says nothing about people.

        1. I wish people would distinguish speech and press better. It seems to muddy up this whole issue.

          That’s intentional. The left routinely butchers the meanings of words to achieve their ends.

      3. BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSHH!!!! Secret unlimited dark money from foreign governments!!!!

        Oh, waitaminnet…Hillary was caught doing that? Well, I’m sure clearing her secret email server was all an honest mistake. WHY DO YOU NEED TO SEE HER PRIVATE EMAILS ANYWAYS!!! She said she handed over all the work-related ones!!!

    2. One thing I don’t understand is why they think any of this matters. Money does not equal votes. Look at what happened to Eric Cantor. He was the House majority leader, for fuck’s sake, and spent more on steak dinners to woo potential donors than his challenger spent on his entire campaign.

      Who won that race, again?

    3. Most progressives I’ve encountered don’t really think McCain-Feingold is about banning books; the whole issue is “getting big money out of politics”. They think Citizens United was a case about corporate personhood, when really that was the least significant aspect of the case. They are, in short, tremendously ignorant about the actual matters at hand.

      I can only conclude that they want to be ignorant (the text of the CU decision is freely available, after all) because it’s more satisfying to be outraged. I would say “and because the means justify the ends”, but they’re so focused on their ends they don’t really think about the means. And it’s bad enough when it’s random internet commenters who are ignorant, but you’d think Hillary, who is not a stupid person, would get it. But she too probably finds it more profitable to run around to the front of the outrage parade and wave a flag than to try and explain the issues to the marching morons.

      1. Corporate personhood has been recognized for centuries.

        The best way to get money out of politics is to make politicians not something worth buying.

        1. You win the Internet for today.

      2. Citizens United was about an anti-Hillary documentary. She knows exactly what it was about. That’s why she’s against it. It’s not about exploiting morons to get votes, it’s about exploiting morons to muzzle her critics.

      3. Corporate personhood was not significant to the matter before the court, however, the results of that ruling changed everything, to the point where a single person can bankroll a candidate who otherwise would not be able to compete.

    4. Grand Moff made the point I was going to, about books.

    5. When I mentioned the book-banning thing, I got a prog mad – she couldn’t understand what I was talking about and wondered why I was wasting her time with such arcana.

    6. It’d be fun to see it overturned, because of all the litigation that’d ensue as various interests seek to get their publications under the “news” exemption. Like when the NRA was going to buy a news organiz’n. It’d be fun to see the court rulings on whose publication counted as “news”.

    7. It’s strategic: they expect (perhaps rightly) that the judges and prosecutors who will be most adamantly enforcing the ban on political speech will be sympathetic and will mainly just put their opponents away.

  10. So her litmus test is a Justice who just doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution?

    1. So her litmus test is a Justice who just doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution?

      Isn’t that the litmus test for all SCJs?

      1. I think John Jay gave a shit. Not sure about any of the others, unfortunately

        1. Let’s be real, there has been and is currently enough variety on the court that you could certainly find some minds you feel follow the constitution.

    2. or one who has decided the case before they hear the evidence and testimony?

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  12. The bad news is she wants to get rid of Citizens United for the corporations. The good news is that, in her ideal outcome, the unions, especially the public employee unions, will likely continue to be covered.

  13. Nixon went after cannabis to jail his political enemies. The essence of Stalinism.

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    1. Wrong thread?

      1. Hillary wants to end Free Speech to accomplish the same goal.

  14. I, for one, support the idea that politicians who are explicitly acknowledging that they are too corrupt not to be bribed by special interest campaign contributions, should be the ones determining what is and is not acceptable to say about politicians.

  15. It’s funny to me because for Clinton to actually do this she would have to be elected. If she can get elected in spite of the Evul Corporate Munny, then what’s the big deal about Citizens United?

    1. Exactly. Every time my progressive-leaning family bemoans “big money in politics”, I just chime in with “yes, it’s truly unfair… I bet President Romney is just sitting there in the oval office, laughing it up over how easy it is to buy an election!”

      1. IIRC Obama raised (and spent) more money than Romney…

      2. Fist-bumping House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, perhaps

  16. Wouldn’t somebody have to bring a suit with a similar subject for the court to overturn CU? Or is she just going to arrest people who criticize her and hope they sue?

  17. If Hillary wins and a vacancy opens on the supreme court and her appointee would overrule Citizens United, then I would consider it the duty of the Republican Senate (assuming they hold the Senate) to NEVER confirm that nominee. Of course the R’s being what they are they’ll sell us out.

  18. Funny how these same people didn’t really care about “Fahrenheit 9/11”, a movie which was trying to make a politician look bad close to an election..

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  21. “garnered the strongest applause of the afternoon from the more than 200 party financiers gathered in Brooklyn for a closed-door briefing”

    Yeah, overruling Citizens United will definitely remove money from political campaigns and make them more accountable to the public!

    1. Or in other words, according to her public claims, overruling CU would reduce the influence of the very people who are applauding her for wanting to overrule…my head hurts.

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  23. Clinton’s record on free speech is only poor if you exclude her own words. She considers herself free to say whatever she wants regardless of the truth. Which is NOT to say she lies, oh no; she just “misspeaks” a lot.

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