Supreme Court Refuses to Block Montana Campaign Contribution Limits
Another victory for Montana, "ground zero" for the battle against Citizens United
In the latest battle in Montana's war against Citizens United, the Supreme Court refused to block a Montana law "limiting campaign contributions to candidates for state office, leaving the caps in place at least through the November general election," reports Reuters.
On Tuesday afternoon, the high court upheld a ruling—handed down earlier this month—by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of appeals that temporarily reinstated Montana's right to regulate campaign contributions. Previously, a lower court had struck down the restrictions labeling them "unconstitutional."
According to the Associated Press:
Montana law caps contributions by individuals and political committees at $630 for gubernatorial candidates, $310 for other statewide offices and at $160 for all other public offices. Total limits for political parties are $22,600 for governor, $8,150 for other statewide candidates, $1,300 for state senators and $800 for all other public offices. Donations by political action committees to candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are capped at $2,650 and $1,600 respectively.
American Tradition Partnership and 11 other conservative groups, individuals and businesses had asked the Supreme Court to intervene and lift the order by the 9th Circuit Court, hoping to restrict the reinstatement of the contribution limits. ATP is a nonprofit advocacy group that has filed "multiple lawsuits seeking to dismantle Montana's election laws," reports AP.
After the ruling, state attorney general and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Steve Bullock wrote in a statement:
The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling confirms that American Tradition Partnership's latest ploy had no merit, and is a blow to the moneyed interests that want to sway our elections for their own ends.
In November, Montana citizens face a ballot initiative that will determine state policy on corporate personhood, prohibiting corporate contributions and expenditures in state and national elections.