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Monday, June 25, 2012

Supreme Court Strikes Down Montana Law Limiting Corporate Campaign Spending

By Susan Duclos

In a three page decision, the Supreme Court reaffirmed their Citizens United ruling from two years ago and overturned the Montana Supreme Court. The justices struck down a Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending.

Three page ruling will be embedded below.

 A Montana state law provides that a “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13–35–227(1) (2011). The Montana Supreme Court rejected petitioners’ claim that this statute violates the First Amendment. 2011 MT 328, 363 Mont. 220, 271 P. 3d 1. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, this Court struck down a similar federal law, holding that “political speech does not lose First Amendment protectionsimply because its source is a corporation.” 558 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 26) (internal quotation marks omitted). The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law. There can be no serious doubt that it does. See U. S. Const., Art. VI, cl. 2. Montana’s arguments in support of the judgment below either were already rejected in Citizens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case. The petition for certiorari is granted. The judgment ofthe Supreme Court of Montana is reversed.

It is so ordered

Dissenting opinion by Justice Breyer starts on page two.

More at Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.

[Update] MSNBC

American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock