In what could be the beginnings of a huge victory for the 99%, the U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would take a case that will give it a chance to reconsider its disastrous Citizens United v. FEC decision.
The case involves two corporations that say a Montana Supreme Court decision denied them the right to use undisclosed amounts of money as an expression of free speech-a right given to them by the 2010 Citizens United ruling. Early this year, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a 100 year-old law that bans corporate money in state politics.
The corporations responded by suing the state of Montana to overturn the law. A lower court agreed with them, saying Citizens United trumped the state law. But, as Care2 reported in February, “American Tradition, a conservative interest group dedicated to fighting ‘the radical environmentalist agenda,’ originally petitioned the court to reverse the Montana Supreme Court ruling without additional briefing or argument. Thankfully, SCOTUS did not comply, but merely put a hold on the petition until American Tradition could present a more complete request for the court’s review.”
The incident raises an important question for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider: “Whether Montana is bound by the holding of Citizens United, that a ban on corporate independent political expenditures is a violation of the First Amendment, when the ban applies to state, rather than federal, elections.”
Getting the Supreme Court to take a second look at Citizens United is the first step toward getting this infamous ruling off the books once and for all. For members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has targeted the ruling since its inception, and advocates of political transparency everywhere, it’s an action that’s long overdue. And it seem that there are some on the bench who would agree.
Judges Ginsburg and Breyer earlier wrote that the case “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.”
Let’s keep the pressure on and let SCOTUS know that we want corporate money out of politics for good!