Supremes Strike Down Montana's Campaign Finance Law
Little reported so far is Monday morning's 5-4 Supreme Court decision to overturn a Montana campaign finance law that would have limited corporation and union political speech.
An outraged Common Cause, the organization pushing for the Montana law, calls the decision to support Citizens United "a brazen attempt to buy our elections out from under us."
Montana's highest court defied the 2010 Citizens United ruling by upholding a centuries-old ban on corporate political spending. It was that case at the state level that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear.
Common Cause vows that even though the Montana ban was struck down, "the fight now moves to the ballot box."
Here's what Common Cause says in its fundraising statement, released minutes after the Supreme Court decision:
"Common Cause is working to give millions of voters a direct say this fall on overturning Citizens United through ballot measures in Colorado, Massachusetts, Salt Lake City, Chicago, San Francisco and hundreds of other cities across the country.
"If the Supreme Court won't revoke the free pass it gave America's army of corporate raiders, then it's up to us to stand together and restore the voices of "We the People." And today, the best way you can advance this crucial work is to make an urgent and generous donation."
In the Citizens United case, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the five justices in the majority, wrote that the First Amendment prohibits limits on independent political spending by corporations and unions. Justice Kennedy reasoned that such expenditures “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
Citizens United is the Supreme Court’s most controversial decision since Bush v. Gore in 2000. It has been criticized for contributing to a political landscape awash in money, and its critics welcomed the possibility that the justices might revisit the decision. But experts in election law said there was little reason to think any of the justices in the majority had changed their minds.