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View Diary: Five Montana Supreme Court justices vs. Citizens United (65 comments)

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  •  Isn't direct contributions still banned at the fed (0+ / 0-)

    level by corporations?

    I thought CU applied only to indirect spending on advertisements and such.  No?

      •  Ok.. Thanks. I just re-read your lead (0+ / 0-)

        paragraphs and I understand a bit better now.

        I thought the Montana case was only upholding a ban on direct spending.  But, I see now that they are banning indirect contributions as well, in direct contradiction to CU.

        •  Jerry - the federal ban is the Tillman Act of 1907 (0+ / 0-)

          Direct campaign contributions were never part of the Citizens United litigation or decision. The Tillman Act is still in full force and effect. No corporation can make any contribution to a candidate for federal office.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:26:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

            •  Adam, given that it is statuatory (0+ / 0-)

              it can certainly be changed by Congress. However, I assume you are talking about cases coming up through the federal courts challenging the Tillman Act. I would appreciate your take but if you read Citizens United the majority paints a very clear line between independent expenditures, and their potential corrupting influence, as compared to direct campaign contributions. I do see the legal argument to move from Buckley to CU to the next step, but I don't see five votes for overturning Tillman. Do you?

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:47:45 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, they leave it up in the air (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                From the Scalia/Alito/Thomas concurrence, I think there's three votes for finding no reason to discriminate between humans and corporations:

                  But to return to, and summarize, my principal point, which is the conformity of today’s opinion with the original meaning of the First Amendment . The Amendment is written in terms of “speech,” not speakers. Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of individuals—and the dissent offers no evidence about the original meaning of the text to support any such exclusion. We are therefore simply left with the question whether the speech at issue in this case is “speech” covered by the First Amendment . No one says otherwise. A documentary film critical of a potential Presidential candidate is core political speech, and its nature as such does not change simply because it was funded by a corporation. Nor does the character of that funding produce any reduction whatever in the “inherent worth of the speech” and “its capacity for informing the public,” First Nat. Bank of Boston v. Bellotti , 435 U. S. 765, 777 (1978) . Indeed, to exclude or impede corporate speech is to muzzle the principal agents of the modern free economy. We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate.

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