It looks like corporations are still people who can speak in the form of cash! In the same 5-4 split seen in 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the controversial Citizens United decision. In this case, American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, the Court overturned a Montana state law barring unlimited corporate funds in elections. By ruling that the Montana law is unconstitutional, the Court expanded Citizens United and applied the decision to the state and local level.
A 1912 Montana law barred direct corporate contributions to political parties and candidates — a response to the election interference of “copper kings.” Mark Twain wrote of one such mining giant in 1907, Sen. William Clark (D), “He is said to have bought legislatures and judges as other men buy food and raiment. By his example he has so excused and so sweetened corruption that in Montana it no longer has an offensive smell.”
The state supreme court upheld that ban late last year in spite of Citizens United, saying Montana’s history of “rough contests for political and economic domination” gave the state a “unique and compelling interests” in limiting corporate influence on elections.