Court strikes down Montana law rather than re-examining Citizens United ruling

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Posted: Jun 25, 2012 4:58 PM
Updated: Jun 25, 2012 4:58 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Supreme, Court, strikes, Montana, law, Citizens, United, ruling, precedent

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is rejecting a plea that it take another look at its ruling from two years ago on campaign finance.

Instead, the court today struck down a Montana law that limits corporate campaign spending.

The same five conservative justices who made up the majority in the Citizens United case -- freeing corporations and labor unions to spend unlimited amounts in federal elections -- joined today to reverse a Montana court ruling that upheld a state law from a century ago.

Montana had defended its law against a challenge from corporations that were looking to be free of spending limits. The state Supreme Court sided with the state, saying a history of corruption showed the need for the limits.

Montana state leaders are condemning today's decision. Gov. Brian Schweitzer says the court is endorsing what he calls "dirty, secret, corporate, foreign money."

But the lawyer who challenged the Montana law said the ruling makes it clear that there are no "unique facts" in a given state that can be used to overturn the Citizens United ruling.

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