Do They Have to Wear Tricorn Hats?

05.23.12

Montana vs. the Supreme Court

So 26 states signed on to the various lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act. You've heard about those lawsuits if you've been living in Borneo for the last two years. So did you have any idea that 23 states (well, 22 plus DC) have signed on to a challenge to the Citizens United decision?

Granted, the story is just getting its legs. And yes, I understand that lawsuits against the White House rate as more newsworthy than lawsuits against the Supreme Court. But even so, this is a big thing, and the discrepancy is absurd. There are in fact Americans, real and patriotic and red-blooded Americans, who despise the Citizens United decision, find it un-American and an encroachment on their liberty since it makes the vaunted "playing field" more un-level than it's been in a century, and want change.

Montana has a 1912 law that restricts corporate campaign spending. After Citizens United, the Montana Supreme Court defied the US Supreme Court and ruled that Montana's law could stand. The state's attorney general, Steve Bullock, a Democrat running for governor, has banded with other AG's, including New York's Eric Schneiderman, to let Montana's law stand.

Why should it stand? A main reason is that myriad state and local elections--including judgeships--are much more easily and cheaply bought by one rich man than the White House is. The threat of corruption is very real indeed. Montana didn't pass that 1912 law simply because legislators got tired of playing tiddly-winks and needed something to do. They passed it because copper interests owned nearly every prominent politician in the state. And that's what John Roberts is taking us back to, because from everything we know about how he sees the world, he sees nothing wrong with copper interests (literally and metaphorically) buying and owning politicians.

In all likelihood, the Supreme Court will not rule against itself (the justices have that luxury, which Obama with regard to health care does not). But this will at least highlight the Court's corruption. Let's hope this movement gets the attention it deserves.