NEWS: Lobbying Group Asks Supreme Court Not To Use “Empirical Evidence”

From Republic Report:

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 Uniteddecision, which opened the doors to unlimited corporate and union involvement in American elections.

Now, attorneys for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a 100%-corporate funded lobbying group that has used the Citizens United decision to pump tens of millions of undisclosed dollars into federal elections over the last two years, is fighting to maintain the status quo. And they don’t want the justices to consider the evidence that the Citizens United decision, along with prior examples of corporate involvement in campaigns, causes corruption.

At the heart of the issue is whether the Citizens United decision has increased corruption. Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in a statement about the Montana decision, said the court must make clear if “Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.’”

Interest groups and politicians are lining up to offer briefs to the Supreme Court. Some, like Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and John McCain (R-AZ), have submitted a brief urging the court to overturn Citizens United.

News: “High court agrees to consider corporate free speech post-Citizen United”

 the corporations said the Montana ban was in violation of their rights, as determined by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which asserts that Corporations have same speech rights as people.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider taking another bite of the corporate political free speech apple recently, accepting a petition asking justices to summarily overturn a Montana Supreme Court decision petitioners [2 Montana corporations] say flies in the face of Citizens United.

In upholding a ban on corporate independent expenditures in state elections, the Montana justices determined that “unlike Citizens United, this case concerns Montana law, Montana elections and it arises from Montana history.”

Liberty and Justice for Some

That ruling, the petition said, raises the question for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider: “Whether Montana is bound by the holding of Citizens United, that a ban on corporate independent political expenditures is a violation of the First Amendment, when the ban applies to state, rather than federal, elections.”

Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission is the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision two years ago that effectively ended the restrictions on political contributions from the general funds of corporations and unions.

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