An attack film called Hillary: The Movie is at the heart of a case that could change the way political campaigns have been financed for more than 100 years. We hear about today's extraordinary session of the US Supreme Court, the first for the new Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Also, the capture of a New York Times Reporter illustrates the escalating danger in Afghanistan. On Reporter's Notebook, can the US afford NASA's plans to go back to the Moon and on to Mars? What about private enterprise?
FROM THIS EPISODE
In 1907, trust-busting President Teddy Roosevelt persuaded Congress to ban corporations from contributing to political campaigns. Today, three weeks before its next session is scheduled to open -- with Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the bench for the first time, the US Supreme Court heard a case that could reverse more than 100 years of finance laws that now cover unions as well as corporations. Last year, the Federal Elections Commission banned the broadcast of the video Hillary: The Movie because it was funded by a corporation. Today's unusual meeting was called for arguments on whether the ban on corporate contributions violates the constitutional right to free speech. The ACLU and the National Rifle Association advocate letting them spend, in the interests of unlimited free speech. Democrat Russ Feingold and Republican John McCain warn that a flood of money will drown the voices of ordinary citizens.
There's evidence today that Afghanistan is getting more dangerous for reporters. A British commando raid has rescued Stephen Farrell of the New York Times, who was seized on Saturday. But one of the commandos was killed, along with an Afghan woman and Farrell's interpreter, Sultan Munadi. Bob Dietz is Asia Program Coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Bob Dietz, Asia Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists
NASA has big plans to send humans back to the Moon and Mars, but lacks the money to meet its goals, according to a blue-ribbon committee formed to advise President Obama. The President appointed former Lockheed Martin Chairman Norman Augustine to head the review of America's space program. His Human Space Flight Plans Committee has released its executive summary, which concludes that NASA is on an "unsustainable trajectory." Astronomer Jonathan McDowell is with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.