Montana Stands Up To The Supreme Court
I’ve never been to Montana but it is quite high on the list of states I would like to visit. Perhaps if I do, I will stop by the state Supreme Court which this week essentially refused to obey the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Dahlia Lithwick explains:
The Montana court more or less announced it would uphold that state’s corporate spending ban because they know a lot more about political corruption than Anthony Kennedy does. The Montana law was enacted in 1912 and provides that “a corporation may not make a contribution or an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” After the Supreme Court handed down the Citizens United decision in 2010, many similar state laws were struck down by the courts or repealed, and a lower court in Montana agreed that the Montana ban was unconstitutional as well, finding that “Citizens United is unequivocal: the government may not prohibit independent and indirect corporate expenditures on political speech.” But by a 5-2 margin, Montana’s high court determined that the state law survived “strict scrutiny” because Montana’s unique context and history justified the ban in ways not contemplated by Citizens United.
The Supreme Court will almost undoubtedly overturn Montana’s decision (but twist themselves into knots explaining why states rights do not prevail in this case), but kudos to Montana for firing a shot at a wildly unpopular decision.Click here for reuse options!
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