Back of the Hand To the States on Campaign Finance

In a bit of a surprise to Court-watchers who figured the Supremes would agree to hear an appeal to a Montana Supreme Court decision upholding an ancient state corrupt practices law against a challenge based on Citizens United, it instead summarily reversed the Montana high court on a 5-4 vote. The majority’s brief, per curium decision treated the matter as fairly self-evident.

It’s reasonably clear the Court’s conservative majority wants to place campaign finance reform efforts, old or new, into a deep freeze. The contemptuous dismissal of Montana’s argument as barely worth the telling–despite four Justices disagreeing–was one way to get that across.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.