The Blog of Legal Times

Tony Mauro

February 23, 2012

It’s a safe bet that a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court has rarely if ever triggered a demonstration in the nation’s capital. But that is what happened at noon today, when Common Cause and other campaign reform groups rallied in front of the Supreme Court in hopes that a Montana decision will trigger a reversal of the high court’s controversial 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

As a result of Citizens United, the political system has been taken over by “billionaire political investors,” Common Cause president Bob Edgar (pictured at right) told a crowd of about 100 on the sidewalk in front of the Court. The decision gave First Amendment blessing to unlimited corporate and union independent expenditures in election campaigns. The Republican primaries have already demonstrated the impact of the decision, said Edgar, with millions of dollars flowing to so-called super-PACs. Those groups will only grow and have major influence over both presidential and congressional races in the fall, he said.

Signs carried by the nearly 100 demonstrators carried slogans such as “We do blame SCOTUS,” “Citizens United: Worse than Dred Scott,” and “Stand with Montana.” Other groups  participating were the Coffee Party and Free Speech for People, among others.

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