by Nicole Flatow
In a U.S. Supreme Court order issued Friday, two of the justices called for review of the controversial decision in Citizens United v. FEC “in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance.”
The high court issued a stay to block a Montana Supreme Court ruling that upheld a state campaign finance law. The stay allows previously prohibited corporate election spending to occur while the court considers whether to review the state’s decision.
But as part of the order, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg issued a statement, joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, calling for the court to grant certiorari so that the justices may consider whether Citizens United “should continue to hold sway.”
“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, … make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption,’” they write, quoting from the opinion.
In a column for Slate, U.C. Irvine law professor Richard Hasen points out that Ginsburg’s selection of that particular passage from the decision exposes “the false premise at the heart of the Citizens United case.”