CCP submitted an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court of the State of Montana last week regarding a case challenging the constitutionality of Montana’s law prohibiting independent corporate expenditures. The ban was struck down by the Citizens United ruling, which found that independent corporate expenditures are protected under the First Amendment.
“Montana’s Attorney General continues to defend a law that blatantly contradicts Citizens United, expending precious state resources in the process,” said CCP Legal Director Allen Dickerson. “Montana is the only state in America that did not conform to the ruling.”
The Attorney General’s brief argues that Montana is specifically vulnerable to corruption and their current laws, which would otherwise violate the First Amendment, are necessary to ensure that the state is not overrun by corporate interest.
“Being a resource-rich state is not grounds for exemption from the First Amendment,” said CCP President Sean Parnell. “Resurrecting as a bogeyman the long gone Copper Kings doesn’t justify limiting political free speech in Montana.”
“This is a case where one of the fifty states believes it deserves an exemption from the First Amendment, relying on arguments that the Supreme Court has found unpersuasive,” said Dickerson. “The Montana Supreme Court should take this opportunity to emphasize that we live in a nation of laws, and that the Constitution applies everywhere, equally.”