This is a solid article in the Post on the many forces coming together to urge the Supreme Court to reconsider Citizens United.
Free Speech For People has played a key role in this effort, leading the filing of an amicus brief before the Montana supreme court, filing the first amicus brief in the Supreme Court's review of the same case, and also organizing a rally in front of the Supreme Court, urging it to take this case as its opportunity to re-visit Citizens United.
Supreme Court faces pressure to reconsider Citizens United ruling
By Robert Barnes
Has anything changed in the world of campaign finance that might give pause to the five members of the Supreme Court who decided Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission exactly 28 months ago Monday?
Or, to be more precise, has anything changed in the mind of at least one of them?
The court faces that question in a flurry of contradictory arguments prompted by a decision by the Montana Supreme Court late last year.
In upholding a 100-year-old state law, the Montana justices seemed to be openly defying Citizens United’s holding that the First Amendment grants corporations, and by extension labor unions, the right to spend unlimited amounts of their treasuries to support or oppose candidates.
The Supreme Court has already blocked the Montana decision, and the justices may simply set their counterparts in Helena straight by summarily reversing the finding.
But pressure is being applied — by members of Congress and nearly half the states, not to mention Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer — to at least let Montana make its argument.
The Montana Supreme Court acknowledged a conflict when it voted 5 to 2 to uphold the state law, created by voters in 1912 to combat the power of the so-called Copper Kings who controlled state politics. It said the state’s characteristics, including a dependence on agriculture and mining and low campaign costs, made it “especially vulnerable” to corporate control.
Those urging the court to grant a full hearing of the Montana case take aim at the most important finding of Citizens United. That was the declaration in Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion that “we now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
“That cannot be so,” the new bipartisan team of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) told the court. “Whether independent expenditures pose dangers of corruption or apparent corruption depends on the actual workings of the electoral system; it is a factual question, not a legal syllogism.”