ABC News wrote yesterday, “Will the Supreme Court take another crack at its ‘Citizens United’ ruling?
“Justices are scheduled Thursday behind closed doors to discuss Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the landmark 2010 decision holding that corporations can make unlimited independent expenditures using general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates.
“Why would the justices revisit a case so soon after ruling on it? Because a lower court – the Montana Supreme Court – issued a ruling in 2011 that appears to contradict Citizens United. The Montana court upheld a ban on corporate spending in Montana state elections, ruling that ‘unlike Citizens United, this case concerns Montana law, Montana elections and it arises from Montana history.’
“The Supreme Court agreed in February to block temporarily, or ‘stay,’ the Montana decision from going into effect until it decides whether to take up the case. Now, parties from both sides have issued written briefs in the case, and the Supreme Court must decide how to deal with it.”
Last month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell filed a brief for the Supreme Court on the Montana case arguing that the Court has no reason to change the Citizens United decision.
As George Will wrote recently, “Reasons for the Supreme Court to reconsider Citizens United are nonexistent. The ruling’s primary effect has been to give unions and incorporated nonprofit advocacy groups freedom to spend what they choose on political speech as long as they do not coordinate with candidates or campaigns. Campaign ‘reformers,’ who advocate speech rationing, apparently regard evidence irrelevant to argument, probably because there is no evidence for their assertion that 2012 has been dominated by corporate money unleashed by Citizens United.”
Will, citing Leader McConnell’s brief, said, “Indisputably, this year’s super PACs have, as McConnell’s brief says, ‘led to more political debate over a lengthier period of time during which more voters had the opportunity to participate in the choice of a presidential candidate.’As McConnell notes, the Montana court’s ruling is ‘disdainful’ and disobedient regarding the Citizens United decision, but this lawlessness is not what bothers many people who think of themselves as defenders of good government. Instead, much of the media and most liberals urge Americans to be scandalized about ‘too much money’ in politics. That three-word trope means (because most political money is spent on the dissemination of political advocacy) that there is more political speech by others than is considered proper by much of the media, which are unrestricted advocates.”
Given the Court’s deliberation on whether to take this case concerning Citizens United and the numerous threats to free and open political speech that have been reported recently, Leader McConnell will give an important speech to the American Enterprise Institute tomorrow addressing all these issues.