The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the Montana Supreme Court’s decision: American Tradition Partnership, Inc., fka, Western Tradition Partnership, Inc., et al., Applicants v. Steve Bullock, Attorney General of Montana, et al. by upholding the state’s century-old ban on corporate political spending. A Huffington Post blog entry said that the stay granted by the US Supreme Court on February 17, 2012 sets up a possible full-blown rematch over the 2010 Citizens United decision that allowed unlimited corporate campaign spending.
The application for a stay pending the filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari was granted and Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer together issued a joint statement regarding the stay indicating that they welcomed the opportunity to revisit, and potentially reverse, Citizens United. Both Justices agree that if a writ of certiorari were granted, it would give the Court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citzens United should continue to hold sway.
Much of what was stated in the Stay Order written by Ginsburg and Breyer was paraphrased and seconded in a New York Times editorial entitled “The Court and Citzens United II” published on February 21, 2012.
Thus far amicus briefs have been filed by Free Speech for People, et al, Citizens United, Senator Mitch McConnell and the U.S Chamber of Commerce.
Lyle Denniston and Tom Goldstein , reporters for the SCOTUSblog, predict that there is still time for the US Supreme Court to act on this Montana case one way or another, before the current term ends in late June. The Court could either hear this case or simply overturn it. Goldstein in his blog indicated that if the Supreme Court were to grant a writ of certiorari to the Montana case rather than summarily reversing it, then the resolution of this case might have some impact on the presidential election.