On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court moved to block a ruling from the Montana Supreme Court that upheld a century-long ban on corporate money in politics. In overruling Montana’s law, the court may be setting itself up to revisit the Citizens United decision.

If the Court decides to hear a full appeal of the Montana case, the Justices will have the chance to weigh in again on their Citizens United decision:

“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’ […] “A petition for certiorari [from those challenging the Montana court’s decision] will give the court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”

View the justices’ call for revisiting the decision below:

United Republic’s Josh Silver argues that “if the court takes up Citizens United again, you can be sure the American people won’t sit quietly with their hands folded while the high court deliberates. They’re going to shake the bars of the prison that our democracy has become, and demand a ruling that protects ordinary people, not plutocrats.”

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Filed under: Reforming the System

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  • Anonymous

    I hope I’m not being too theatrical but I am quite sure that the “Citizens United” decision was a catastrophe
    for America. It has caused me to question the patriotism of five members of the supreme court and I believe it will go down as an embarrassing black mark on a nation that may have difficulty ever being great again.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t bother questioning the integrity of at least four members of the Supreme Court. They have attended (two attend regularly) the semi-annual planning meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, at which attendees receive their marching orders in the war to privatize the nation, broaden the class divide, and establish a permanent American corporatocracy.

    Justice Thomas’s wife was paid nearly a million dollars for his vote in Citizens United (wonder if he realizes yet how cheaply he sold out!), and established her own “Citizens United SuperPAC” a week or more before the Court even made the ruling legalizing it. Don’t hold your breath until they revoke it.

    They knew before we did how questionable their participation in ALEC is. When word got out about their attending the meeting on Kochs’ yacht (actually an ocean liner), Alito and Roberts stopped attending the semi-annual meetings. However, Scalia and Thomas continued to attend, but lied about their participation. After publicly denying that they had attended the Palm Springs meeting, the idiots actually turned in their expenses to the Court for refund.

    Citizens United has been a HUGE success. Unfortunately, “success” is measured in the 0.1%’s ability to widen the gap, eliminate the Middle Class, and seize permanent political control of the nation.

    Over 800 of the Model Laws under which we will be living were leaked in July and can be seen at the website of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), or in several issues from July and later of The Nation magazine.

    • Gtarmike

      This just cannot be right! As for myself, I firmly believe that a nickle will eventually trickle down, somewhere, proving the thirty-year-old theory, and permanently shutting up all these denyers who claim that anything that oozes out gets immediately slurped up into an investment account long before it trickles anywhere. I will continue to go to bed at night obsessing about the plight of the fabulously wealthy. Those who actually understand history know that the Russian Communist system was actually controlled by a relatively small number of wealthy families – it was (and remains) a plutocracy, and the difference between that and the corporatocracy that Citizens United , the Koch bros, et al, are striving for is…is…I’ll get back to you on that.

  • citehtapa

    If there isn’ already a petition being circulated to urge the court to revisit Citizen’s United we need to get one going.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealAmurica The Real Amurica

    At first glance this sounds like good news, but it might not be good at all.

    Yes, it does lend to the belief that if losing party in Montana applied for cert it would likely get it. Based on Breyer and Ginsburg’s statement it seems the four liberals on the court would vote to take the case. All a party needs is four votes to get a case heard on its merits.

    Yet, remember you need FIVE votes to overturn or issue an majority opinion. Kennedy can be seen as a swing vote, but he also WROTE the majority opinion in Citizens United. I would find it unique if he reversed course, but he has changed his vote before when he was the swing vote in the abortion cases of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He did agree with O’Connor and the majority in Casey v. Planned Parenthood (it essentially overruled Roe v. Wade and established modern abortion law), but he reversed course in the partial birth abortion cases a few years later after essentially feeling lied to and betrayed by the majority in Casey to get his vote. So I guess there is a possibility he could change his mind in a Citizens United II.

    The more likely scenario though is that Citizens United will simply be incorporated to the states and nothing will change from its current state. I haven’t read Citizens United in about a year, but I am fairly certain based on its parties that it technically only applies to the federal government’s ability to make laws regulating campaign financing. If the SCOTUS takes this case based upon Montana’s state laws regulating campaign financing then it can simply hold in a 5-4 decision that not only can the federal government not make laws infringing on a corporation’s first amendment rights, but neither can the states. So sadly, it will be another disaster for both those wanting to get money out of politics and those who advocate for state’s rights.

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  • EllenWedum

    The link to the overturned case is not to the ban on corporate financing of campaigns but to the overturn of a Montana case about whether MT is due rent for use of state-owned riverbeds….

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