-By Katrina vanden Heuvel
June 12, 2012- Writing for the majority in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
Since then, Super-PACs and corporations have spent record amounts of money in elections nationwide. Corporate spending soared during the 2010 election cycle to $294 million, 427 percent over the previous midterm elections in 2006. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Stephen Breyer both suggested that given these “huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance,” Kennedy’s assertion doesn’t hold and the court should reconsider its ruling.
-By Eric W. Dolan
May 30, 2012– Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said Wednesday that the Founding Fathers of the United States would not have supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Citizens United.
“Money is destroying our politics and our political system,” he said in a video uploaded to YouTube. “Our electoral system has become such a joke that two late-night comedians created their own Super PAC and generated great laughter just by showing how one operates.”
The ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that limiting corporate campaign spending violated the First Amendment, because political contributions were a form of political speech and corporations were legally persons. The ruling gave rise to Super PACS, which can raise an unlimited amount of money to influence federal elections.
“This would have staggered our Founding Fathers,” Kucinich said.
-By Lee Fang
May 22, 2012- Late last year, the Montana high court, citing the state’s long history of corporate money corrupting politics, defied the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and continued enforcing the state’s 100-year old law banning corporate involvement in state elections. The Supreme Court has blocked the Montana court’s decision pending on its own determination as to whether to formally hear the case this fall. Allowing a full argument in matter could allow the Court to reconsider the merits of the Citizens United decision, which opened the doors to unlimited corporate and union involvement in American elections.
-By Mike Sacks
May 22, 2012- WASHINGTON — Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock says that he has been so personally involved in the Citizens United sequel soon to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court that his coworkers say he is the case's "attorney specific."
It is a role Bullock welcomed following the 2010 ruling in Citizens United, which held that "independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." Bullock, a Democrat, led 26 states in submitting a brief to the Supreme Court for that case, in favor of the federal law that restricted such corporate spending and was ultimately struck down as unconstitutional. He is the top lawyer for Montana, the only state not to abandon its own corporate spending regulations in that decision's wake.