Supreme Court Puts Montana Ban on Corporate Campaigning On Hold
The U.S. Supreme Court has put on hold a Montana State Supreme Court decision that in late December upheld the state's century-old ban on corporate electioneering.
The stay, which was not surprising because the Montana court directly challenged holdings by the U.S. Supreme Court in its controversial Citizens United ruling, raises that prospect that the nation's highest court will take the case and use it as an opportunity to revisit several key areas in Citizens United that have enabled donations from wealthy people to pay for ads that have dominated the political debate in the earliest Republican presidential nominating contests.
As Rick Hasen's ElectionLawBlog explains, it may be embarrassing for the Court's ideological majority to retake the case because several key pronouncements in Citizens United have proven to be erroneous in light of the opening salvos in the 2012. But if it does not take the case, then Montana's century old ban on corporate campaigning will remain as law.
Notably, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in the stay order that should the full Court take the case that it "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."