Supreme Court to Review Big Bucks “Citizens United” Decision

Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

After just two years, the Supreme Court will, starting Thursday, reexamine one of its most controversial decisions: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Though it is unusual for the Supreme Court to revisit a case this quickly, the issue was forced by a Montana Supreme Court decision that came in direct opposition to Citizens United, reports ABC News.

In 2010, Citizens United declared that money is a form of free speech and that corporations can donate to political campaigns without financial limitations. Meanwhile, last year, the Montana Supreme Court upheld a decision that banned corporations from flooding state elections with money. “Unlike Citizens United, this case concerns Montana laws, Montana elections, and it arises from Montana history,” the ruling said.

Back in February, the Supreme Court temporarily stopped Montana’s decision from taking effect.  Although Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were opposed to the Citizens United ruling in 2010, they both agreed that a stay of Montana’s ruling was in order. “Lower courts are bound to follow [the Supreme] Court’s decisions,” Justice Ginsburg said.

Justice Ginsburg eager for review

Still, Ginsburg seems eager to discuss the issue again. The Citizens United decision states that corporate donations would not lead to corruption, which is certainly a debatable opinion. She believes it is worth reassessing the consequences of the decision “in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance.”

James Bopp Jr., an Indiana Republican Party National Committeeman, submitted a motion that called on the Supreme Court Justices to issue a summary reversal on Montana’s decision. In other words, Bopp felt the Supreme Court should not even hear arguments of this case since it defied a higher court’s ruling and disrespected precedent.

On the other hand, Montana’s attorney general, Steve Bullock, hopes that the Supreme Court agrees to hear oral arguments because even if it the Court does not reverse the Citizens United decision, it may provide “an opportunity for the Court to clarify its applications.”

Just how deep the Supreme Court will delve into Montana’s clash with Citizens United will have to be seen. Experts say that the Justices could make a ruling as soon as Monday.

Related Stories:

Montana Supreme Court Rejects Citizens United

Vermont Introduces Resolution to Ban Corporate Personhood

Citizens United Was Only Two Years Ago


Gayle J.
Gayle, J5 years ago

A Corporation is NOT a person, and neither is Mitt Romney.

Charles P.
Charles P5 years ago

This is a chance for Justice Kennedy to get it right. He now must realize that what he wrote in his opinon has been declared pure bullshit by the moneyed interests. There is corruptioon. Businesses are trying to buy elections with unheard of amounts of money, even factoring in inflation. Come on Anthony. Show the world what a real conscience is.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola5 years ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Robert K.
Robert K5 years ago

There's another related decision by the most corrupt SCOTUS in history, the idea that money is speech. But I'd be OK with that if they then said that anyone giving more than the poorest person in the land can afford to give denies the poor the equal right of speech and political donations to politicians or PACs should be limited to $1 per election cycle. It only makes sense that way.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson5 years ago


Mitchell D.
Mitchell D5 years ago

Those who stated that corporate donations would not lead to corruption, I believe, were happy to corrupt the system in favor of the moneyed, conservative side. These are some of the same people who happily gave the presidential election to G.W. Bush, and I believe it was Justice Scialla who later said "Live with it!" in response to evidence that the Florida election was ripped off.

Carl Oerke
Carl O5 years ago

Judge Alito mouthed the word liar to President Obama at the State of the Union Address when the president was addressing the dangers caused by the Citizens United decison. Well if you could see me I am mouthing the word jackass directed at Judge Samuel Alito. Another reason for voting for President Obama is the fact that he may well get the opportunity to nominate replacement Supreme Court justices during his second term and the Bush appointees Roberts and Alito leave much to be desired. Stupidity aside.

Dan B.
Dan Brook5 years ago

Corps are NOT people!

The regressive Republican Party of No is obstructionist, mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, untrustworthy, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, oily, anti-environment, anti-health, anti-consumer, anti-choice, anti-birth control, anti-education, anti-99%, union busting, Medicare mashing and Social Security slashing, fiscally irresponsible, misleading, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, out-of-touch, dishonest, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

This is one of the worst decisions ever made by a Supreme court. This right wing Supreme Court is one of the worst we have ever had. They have to be ignorant or really ideological to come up with this bonehead, corporations are people, idea. I hope sane heads take another look and reverses that monstrosity.

I hope they don't make another idiotic mistake by giving our health care back to the complete control of the insurance companies who will charge us more and give us less while taking more million dollar bonuses for themselves.

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago

Thank you.