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View Diary: Montana Supreme Court Says Citizens United Does Not Apply in State Elections! (62 comments)

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  •  Well, it's a little different (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    The SCOTUS rejects the idea that INDEPENDENT speech (speech by a third party, not a campaign contribution) can cause corruption.  So, according to the SCOTUS a third-party expenditure to make a movie, or publish a book, or put out a flyer, cannot cause corruption in the way that a campaign contribution -- money paid to the candidate's campaign -- can.  That's their holding.  

    The second part of the holding is that, even if independent speech could cause corruption, then banning it entirely is not a permissible remedy under the First Amendment.   So, even if they would agree with you that independent speech by third parties can corrupt politicians, government has to still cannot ban all such speech under the First Amendment.  

    So, under that holding, any state law that bans independent expenditures within a certain time prior to an election is unconstitutional as in violation of the First Amendment.  

    •  Hey did you see the Update? (0+ / 0-)

      But wait! You are saying a certain time, but that is not what Montana is doing. There is no certain time there is a blanket ban. Does that make a difference?

      •  A blanket ban would be worse (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Something the Dog Said, Adam B, VClib

        than what was struck down in CU.   If the Court said that a ban at a certain time prior to elections was too broad, and too much infringement on speech.   A total ban is a far worse infringement.   That makes the Montana law even worse (in the eyes of the CU majority) than the law addressed in CU.  

        Just looked at the update.  Thanks for that.  I understand that sometimes it is easy to jump to what we WISH the law would be rather than what it IS.  And, under our Constitution, the law is what the SCOTUS says it is unless and until they overrule it or amend the Constitution.  That applies even to a 5-4 decision like CU or like Miranda.  (There are a whole host of significant SCOTUS cases decided by one vote.)  

        I encourage you to read the dissents in the Montana case.  They are pretty much speaking directly to you.  Basically, the point is "I totally disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment on this issue, but as part of the Montana Supreme Court, I have no choice but to follow the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court, even when I disagree with it."

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