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High court blocks Mont. campaign money ruling
Associated Press ^ | Friday, February 17, 2012 6:58 PM EST | MARK SHERMAN

Posted on 02/17/2012 4:28:35 PM PST by Hunton Peck

The Supreme Court on Friday blocked a Montana court ruling upholding limits on corporate campaign spending. The state court ruling appears to be at odds with the high court's 2010 decision striking down a federal ban on those campaign expenditures.

The justices put the Montana ruling on hold while they consider an appeal from corporations seeking to be free of spending limits. The state argues, and the Montana Supreme Court agreed, that political corruption gave rise to the century-old ban on corporate campaign spending.

In the 2010 Citizens United case, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that independent spending by corporations does "not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a dissenter in Citizens United, issued a brief statement for herself and Justice Stephen Breyer saying that campaign spending since the decision makes "it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations `do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.'"

Ginsburg appeared to be referring to the rise of unregulated super PACs that...

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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Politics/Elections; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: campaign; citizensunited; contribution; freespeech

1 posted on 02/17/2012 4:28:37 PM PST by Hunton Peck
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As I understand the situation, this ruling merely stays implementation of the lower court’s order pending the appeal, so that corporations may spend freely on elections during the appeal. There’s no lasting effect of the ruling, but it may give some insight into how the majority is leaning.

2 posted on 02/17/2012 4:34:31 PM PST by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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