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Tue Jan 10, 2012, 01:51 PM

The biggest threat to Citizens United --Montana AG explains why

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/06/the_biggest_threat_to_citizens_united/singleton/

The Montana AG explains why his state's challenge to the controversial decision could hold up in the Supreme Court

The biggest threat to Citizens United
by David Sirota

Last week, while the national press corps was busy pretending the tiny Iowa caucus was the only news in America, a major ruling out of Montana paved the way for a likely U.S. Supreme Court showdown over the role of corporate money in politics.

In the case, which was spearheaded by the stateís Democratic Attorney General Steve Bullock, Montanaís top court restored Big Sky countryís century-old law banning corporations from directly spending on political candidates or committees. Legal experts believe that upon appeal, this case will come before the nationís highest court. While there, it could serve as the first test of the precedents in the infamous Citizens United decision that essentially allows unfettered corporate spending in campaigns.

This week on my weekday morning radio show on KKZN-AM760, I spoke with Bullock about the case. What follows is an edited transcript of our discussion (you can find the full audio podcast here).

Walk us through what this case was all about and why itís important not just for Montana but for politics all across the country.

...more..

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Reply The biggest threat to Citizens United --Montana AG explains why (Original post)
G_j Jan 2012 OP
mdmc Jan 2012 #1
immoderate Jan 2012 #2
Spazito Jan 2012 #3
Quantess Jan 2012 #4
Zorra Jan 2012 #5

Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 01:55 PM

1. Thanks for the information

 

Peace and low stress

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 02:02 PM

2. Once through the election cycle, CU will backfire on politicians.

 

They will all be able to count themselves as victims by next year. This will coincide nicely with actions against corporate personhood.

--imm

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 02:13 PM

3. Very interesting read...

If the argument put forward by Montana's Attorney General prevails then Citizens United can be defeated state by state rather than a Constitutional amendment which is much harder to accomplish.

Thanks for posting this.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 03:15 PM

4. Thanks! This looks like a good read.

David Sirota is pretty good.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 03:48 PM

5. Thanks, really great info.

You are going to be standing, potentially, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and somebody like Justice Scalia is going to say: ďMr. Bullock, donít you agree that money is speech? After all, we have precedent on the books in Buckley v. Valeo stating that money is speech. So how can you defend what Montana is doing, and how can other states defend similar bans on corporate money?Ē What will you say?

I think what we can say is that even if money is equated to speech, that that doesnít mean you canít demonstrate compelling state interests that allow you to put some restrictions on speech. Just like you canít yell ďfire!Ē in a movie theater, there are state interests in making sure that that speech has some limitations. And thatís what our Montana Supreme Court stated is that we have compelling interests in the integrity of the election process. We have a compelling interest in encouraging full participation.

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/06/the_biggest_threat_to_citizens_united/singleton/

Although I don't agree that money is speech, the fact that this is a precedent makes it necessary to argue from this perspective, I suppose. And it's a good argument.

Buckley vs. Valeo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckley_v._Valeo

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