No announcement today of the Supreme Court’s decision(s) on the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act. A big letdown.
Another big letdown: The court did issue an unsigned decision declining to revisit is 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that opened the spigot for unlimited independent campaign spending by corporations and unions.
A 5-4 majority summarily reversed a Montanan Supreme Court decision that refused to follow the U.S. high court’s Citizens United ruling. It ruled that, on the question of whether Citizens United applied to Montana state law, “There can be no serious doubt that it does.”
The court’s four liberals dissented, reasoning Citizens United itself was a mistake.
Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said, “Even if I were to accept Citizens United this court’s legal conclusion should not bar the Montana Supreme Court’s finding, made on the record before it, that independent expenditures by corporations did in fact lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption in Montana. Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that court concluded that the state had a compelling interest in limiting independent expenditures by corporations.”
“Montana’s experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the court’s decision in Citizens United, casts grave doubt on the court’s supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so,” Breyer added.
Already in Virginia, it has generated a flood of independent campaign advertising in the presidential and U.S. Senate races, much if not all of it negative. So, a question: