(June 25, 2012) Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock sought to prevent the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision from being used to strike down a state law restricting corporate campaign spending.
On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected Bullock's argument, holding that "there can be no serious doubt" that Citizens United applies to Montana law.
The state of Montana has lost a closely watched bid to challenge Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that lets corporations deploy their money to help or attack specific candidates.
Citizens United dramatically loosened the restraints on corporate involvement in political campaigns. It also set strict new limits on what's considered "corruption or the appearance of corruption" when it comes to restricting money in politics.
After Citizens United, statutes on corporate money fell in many other states. But not in Montana. There, the state's high court ruled that a flat ban on corporate political spending was justified, based on Montana's history of extensive, corporate-financed corruption in state government, back in the decades around the turn of the 20th century.