While we will have to wait a couple more days for the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s health care reform, today we found out that the court’s five conservative justices see no problem with unlimited or campaign spending.
The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, struck down Montana’s long-standing ban on corporate money in elections. The decision reversed a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court which had upheld the 1912 law.
As Think Progress notes, the were no oral arguments in the case, meaning that the five conservative justices were not even open to hearing arguments that their election-buying decision in Citizens United might have been wrongly decided.
The ruling forces the 2010 Citizens United decision onto state campaign finance laws, allowing corporations and labor unions the right to spend freely in local elections.
Here’s what it comes down to – the conservatives on the Supreme Court just doubled down on the ability for a single billionaire or corporation to overwhelm the contributions of millions of citizens. Or as Antonin Scalia calls it, “free speech.”
According to NPR, the conservative majority turned away pleas from the court’s liberal justices to give a full hearing to the case because “massive campaign spending since the January 2010 ruling has called into question some of its underpinnings.”
More from NPR:
Montana aggressively defended its 1912 law against a challenge from corporations seeking to be free of spending limits, and the state Supreme Court sided with the state. The state court said a history of corruption showed the need for the limits, even as Justice Anthony Kennedy declared in his Citizens United opinion that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”