Justice Sonia Sotomayor has taken her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court bench to hear her first case.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has officially taken her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court bench to hear her first case.
The Associated Press reports that justice Sotomayor shook whatver first-day jitters she may have had to start asking questions in a case that will decide whether corporations and labor unions should be allowed to pay for political ads.
The case stems from a 90-minute movie that slammed then-presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Ads for Hillary The Movie, which played in select theaters, were posted online and the movie was sold as a DVD. And it features a former advisor for husband Bill Clinton calling her “the closest thing we have in America to a European socialist.”
Conservative group Citizens United, who produced the film, also wanted the movie to be available for viewing through video-on-demand. The Federal Election Commission said it played out too much a like a long political commercial, so it had to be regulated like one. As campaign finance law stands now, it is illegal for companies to spend money supporting or opposing political candidates, but that law does not extend to theaters, DVDs or the Internet.
Reportedly, Sotomayor seemed weary of lifting the ban, which Citizens United had been imploring the courts to do. However the case could hinge on whether Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito would consider overturning previous decisions made by federal courts.
– Sonya Eskridge