throbber
Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012)
`
`
`Per Curiam
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
` AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA
`
`WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC.,
`
`
`
`ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY
`
`
`GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL.
`
`ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME
`
`
`COURT OF MONTANA
`
`No. 11–1179. Decided June 25, 2012
`
` PER CURIAM.
`A Montana state law provides that a “corporation may
`
`not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candi-
`date or a political committee that supports or opposes a
`candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13–
`
`35–227(1) (2011). The Montana Supreme Court rejected
`petitioners’ claim that this statute violates the First
`Amendment. 2011 MT 328, 363 Mont. 220, 271 P. 3d 1.
`
`In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, this
`Court struck down a similar federal law, holding that
`
`“political speech does not lose First Amendment protection
`simply because its source is a corporation.” 558 U. S. ___,
`___ (2010) (slip op., at 26) (internal quotation marks omit-
`ted). The question presented in this case is whether the
`holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state
`
`law. There can be no serious doubt that it does. See U. S.
`
`Const., Art. VI, cl. 2. Montana’s arguments in support of
`the judgment below either were already rejected in Citi-
`zens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case.
`
`
`The petition for certiorari is granted. The judgment of
`the Supreme Court of Montana is reversed.
`
`
`1
`
`
`
`
`It is so ordered.
`
`

`
`1
`
`
`
`
`
`
`
` Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012)
`
`BREYER, J., dissenting
`
`SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
`
` AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA
`
`WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC.,
`
`
`
`ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY
`
`
`GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL.
`
`ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME
`
`
`COURT OF MONTANA
`
`No. 11–1179. Decided June 25, 2012
`
`
` JUSTICE BREYER, with whom JUSTICE GINSBURG, JUS-
`
`TICE SOTOMAYOR, and JUSTICE KAGAN join, dissenting.
`
`
`In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the
`
`Court concluded that “independent expenditures, includ­
`ing those made by corporations, do not give rise to corrup­
`tion or the appearance of corruption.” 558 U. S. ___, ___
`(2010) (slip op., at 42). I disagree with the Court’s hold-
`ing for the reasons expressed in Justice Stevens’ dissent
`in that case. As Justice Stevens explained, “technically in­
`dependent expenditures can be corrupting in much the
`same way as direct contributions.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at
`67–68). Indeed, Justice Stevens recounted a “substantial
`body of evidence” suggesting that “[m]any corporate inde­
`pendent expenditures . . . had become essentially inter­
`changeable with direct contributions in their capacity to
`generate quid pro quo arrangements.” Id., at ___ (slip op.,
`at 64–65).
`Moreover, even if I were to accept Citizens United, this
`
`
`Court’s legal conclusion should not bar the Montana Su­
`preme Court’s finding, made on the record before it, that
`independent expenditures by corporations did in fact lead
`to corruption or the appearance of corruption in Montana.
`Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that
`court concluded that the State had a compelling interest in
`limiting independent expenditures by corporations. 2011
`MT 328, ¶¶ 36–37, 363 Mont. 220, 235–236, 271 P. 3d 1,
`
`
`
`
`
`

`
`2 AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC. v. BULLOCK
`
`
`BREYER, J., dissenting
`
`36–37. Thus, Montana’s experience, like considerable ex­
`perience elsewhere since the Court’s decision in Citizens
`
`
`United, casts grave doubt on the Court’s supposition that
`
`independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do
`
`so.
`
`
`Were the matter up to me, I would vote to grant the
`
`petition for certiorari in order to reconsider Citizens United
`
`or, at least, its application in this case. But given the
`
`Court’s per curiam disposition, I do not see a significant
`
`possibility of reconsideration. Consequently, I vote in­
`stead to deny the petition.

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