06-03-2012, 09:27 AM
States' new version of the Alien and Sedition Acts
| States' new version of the Alien and Sedition Acts |
Citizens in 22 states should be alarmed. An amicus brief filed by those states’ attorneys general indicates they do not believe in robust First Amendment rights. Instead, they urge the U.S. Supreme Court to let state governments censor political speech and political activity.
That is, in essence, the position taken in their embarrassing brief just filed in American Tradition Partnership v Bullock, a case in which the Montana Supreme Court brazenly ignored the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. The Montana court reinstated a ban on independent political expenditures by corporations—a ban that a lower court had correctly thrown out as unconstitutional following the Citizens United ruling.
Trying to differentiate its state law from the federal ban, the Montana Supreme Court issued a decision that is a marvel of deceptive reasoning. The court basically defied the Supreme Court. As the dissenting judge, James Nelson, said, “the Supreme Court has spoken,” and Montana’s “judiciary and elected officers are bound to accept and enforce the Supreme Court’s ruling—in the same way that this Court demands obedience to its rulings, like them or not.” But the Montana court refused to render that obedience.
When American Tradition Partnerships petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the erroneous Montana decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion in Citizens United, issued a stay of the Montana court’s decision while the Supreme Court decides whether to accept the Montana case for review. Led by Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, the attorneys general of 22 states filed an amicus brief opposing the petition and asking the Supreme Court to let the Montana decision stand.
since some are offended by Human Events;
| American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock: 22 States & D.C. Join Montana Against Citizens United |
HELENA, Mont. -- Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia are backing Montana in its fight to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down state laws restricting corporate campaign spending.
The states led by New York are asking the high court to preserve Montana's state-level regulations on corporate political expenditures, according to a copy of a brief written by New York's attorney general's office and obtained by The Associated Press. The brief will be publicly released Monday.
The Supreme Court is being asked to reverse a state court's decision to uphold the Montana law. Virginia-based American Tradition Partnership is asking the nation's high court to rule without a hearing because the group says the state law conflicts directly with the Citizens United decision that removed the federal ban on corporate campaign spending.
The Supreme Court has blocked the Montana law until it can look at the case.
The Montana case has prompted critics to hope the court will reverse itself on the controversial Citizens United ruling. The 22 states and D.C. say the Montana law is sharply different from the federal issues in the Citizens United case, so the ruling shouldn't apply to Montana's or other state laws regulating corporate campaign spending.
But the states also said they would support a Supreme Court decision to reconsider portions of the Citizens United ruling either in a future case or in the Montana case, if the justices decide to take it on.
Legal observers say don't count on the Supreme Court reconsidering its decision.
"It is highly unlikely that the Court would reverse its decision in Citizens United," said law professor Richard L. Hasen of the University of California-Irvine.
At best, the court would listen to arguments and might agree a clarification is needed to allow the Montana law to stand. But even that is a long shot, Hasen said.
The Democrat, who is running for governor, said the upstart political corporations hoping to take advantage of unfettered spending are merely "an anonymous conduit of unaccountable campaign spending."
Gee you mean like UNIONS Do NOW ...............
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