Recent news and notes on the movement to overturn Citizens United –
Supreme Court strikes down Montana anti-corruption campaign law in American Trading Partnership v. Bullock.
New York Times
Supreme Court Declines to Revisit Citizens United
“Montana’s experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the court’s decision in Citizens United, casts grave doubt on the court’s supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so,” Justice Breyer added.
Billings Gazette (MT)
Supreme Court Strikes 1912 Ban on Corporate Donations
“It will go a long ways to creating a system where corporate money and large moneyed interests will own all of our government, from the White House to the courthouse,” [Montana Gov. Brian] Schweitzer said. “What they’re saying is dirty, secret, corporate, foreign money can now pour in to Montana elections in the same way it does in Washington, D.C.”
Independent Record (Helena, MT)
High Court Produces a Politics of, by and for Corporations
“I am very disappointed in what the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision means for state and local elections in Montana– and for our entire nation,” added state Attorney General Steve Bullock, who unsuccessfully defended Montana’s law. Bullock, a Democrat, is running for governor. The decision was a clear victory for American Tradition Partnership, a conservative, anti-environmentalist group from Washington, D.C.
The Caucus (NY Times blog)
Senator Tester Assails Court Decision
“The court’s supposed to be full of smart, well-thought-out people, but they rolled back Montana 100 years, back to the time literally when millionaires and billionaires bought elections, and they did it under the guise of free speech, which is crazy,” he said in an interview. “This is really a sad day in American democracy.”
Supreme Court’s Montana ruling won’t affect Washington
“Today’s ruling has no impact in Washington State. Washington State’s laws have never set limits on corporate campaign spending. There are contribution limits, but Citizens United was about independent spending by corporations – not direct contributions,” Washington Public Disclosure Commission spokeswoman Lori Andersonsaid in an email.
Read more here:
The Guardian (UK)
Supreme Court strengthens Citizens United
James Bopp, lead attorney for the three corporations challenging Montana, had argued in his appeal to the supreme court: “If Montana can ban core political speech because of Montana’s unique characteristics, free speech will be seriously harmed. Speakers will be silenced because of corruption by others over a century ago.”
“Were the matter up to me, I would vote to grant the petition for certiorari in order to reconsider Citizens United or, at least, its application in this case,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in regard to American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock. “But given the Court’s per curiam disposition, I do not see a significant possibility of reconsideration. Consequently, I vote instead to deny the petition.” And there we have a portrait of today’s Supreme Court: Breyer is saying that he does not trust the majority enough to even listen, and would rather that it not hear the case at all; since he was joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, that means the four of them didn’t believe that a single of the other five Justices had been at all chastened by the consequences of Citizens United.
And from the opposition…
By standing in direct – and obvious – contradiction to the 2010 Citizens United ruling outlawing restrictions on campaign-related speech by corporations, the Montana case symbolized a short-lived protest against the nation’s highest judicial body. Earlier today, the Supreme Court put an end to Montana’s disobedience.
[Editor’s note: OK, Forbes is obviously the “magazine of the 1%” but when they start using words like “insurrection” and “disobedience,” they’re saying they’re entitled to their sycophantic corruption — that it’s “normal” to sell your personal integrity to the nearest rich guy. Dear Forbes staffers, is the reward really worth the non-stop groveling indignity that comes with your job? Sad.]