Media News

US top court sets arguments again on campaign law

WASHINGTON, June 29 Reuters - The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would hear arguments again on whether a federal campaign finance law improperly limited corporate-funded messages in political elections, a case that could lead to fewer restrictions on ads that seek to sway voters.

On the last day of the court’s term, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the justices would hear arguments on Sept. 9 over a conservative advocacy group’s challenge to the law as part of its effort to broadcast and promote a movie critical of Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign.

The group, Citizens United, released a 90-minute documentary film “Hillary: The Movie” in January 2008 when Clinton, then a U.S. senator from New York, was running for president. She later became secretary of state in President Barack Obama’s administration.

The case was argued before the Supreme Court on March 24. The court will occasionally hear arguments a second time in a case when it wants to explore other legal issues.

The 2002 campaign finance law at issue in the case was named after Senator John McCain of Arizona, the unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate in 2008, and Senator Russell Feingold, a Democrat from Wisconsin.

The court said in a brief order that it would consider as part of the rearguments whether to overrule part of its 2003 ruling that upheld the campaign finance law.

The court’s conservative majority, with the addition of Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito in 2005 and 2006, has limited or struck down parts of the 2002 law that was designed to regulate the role of money in politics and federal elections.

Critics said the law amounted to censorship and violated free-speech rights. (Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Deborah Charles and Vicki Allen)