Jun 28, 2012
This week's 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Citizens United decision, declaring that the state of Montana cannot restrict unlimited spending by corporations and other groups in elections.
Many advocates of democracy and good government had hoped the Supreme Court would see the Montana case as an opportunity to revisit and revise the 2010 Citizens United decision that has allowed hundreds of millions of dollars, from mainly secret donors, to influence public elections. In the Wisconsin recall elections, just three billionaires gave more money to Gov. Scott Walker than his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, raised in the entire campaign.
But the Court's five justices who brought us Citizens United haven't changed their thinking.
The government of Montana, citing a 1912 statute, attempted to restore true democracy to election and political spending by restricting spending by corporations and other organizations that has spiraled out of control following "Citizens United." But the justices refused to even hear the case, American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock.
CWA agrees with Justices Ginsburg and Breyer, who earlier this year said, the Citizens United decision makes "it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations 'do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.'"
CWA will continue to fight for constitutional changes and other changes such as public financing of elections that will restore true democracy to our political and election spending.