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The Washington Times: EDITORIAL: Defending political free speech

Urgency is on the minds of judges on a panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, too. The court issued an emergency injunction enabling Citizens United, a conservative group, to broadcast a documentary critical of several prominent Colorado Democrats.

Under Colorado law, only news organizations are allowed to criticize politicians without falling under the strict financial regulations that apply to political groups. That gives the advantage to The Denver Post, which usually endorses Democratic candidates, and keeps competitors out of the fray. Citizens United produced a documentary, “Rocky Mountain Heist,” to show how millionaires invested their cash to paint blue a state that had once been reliably red. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall, both Democrats, are running for re-election.

The appellate judges said Citizens United has the same free-speech rights as a news organization. “The Colorado Secretary of State shall treat Citizens United in its capacity as a producer and distributor of films the same as a broadcast facility or publisher of a print periodical for purposes of the exemptions from the reporting and disclosure requirements of Colorado election law … .” the court said.

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Citizens United