Justices Signal High Court May Rethink Citizens United

Ginsburg, Breyer say real-world results rebut original ruling

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 19, 2012 7:01 AM CST

(Newser) – The Supreme Court on Friday blocked a Montana Supreme Court ruling against corporate campaign funding, appearing once again to support the unlimited corporate spending it allowed with the Citizens United case of 2010. But maybe not? Comments in Friday's order by justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer hint that they're unhappy with the results of that infamous case, reports the Washington Post.

The results of Montana and elsewhere "make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,’” wrote Ginsburg, who, along with Breyer, was in the minority opinion on Citizens United. The Supreme Court could simply overturn the Montana Court, and it has no timeline to respond. But the Montana case "will give the Court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates' allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway," Ginsburg wrote.

Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer listen to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.
Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer listen to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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