The court intervened late Tuesday less than a week after a federal judge’s decision opened the door to unlimited money in state elections – during the height of election season.
Conservative groups emboldened by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision have made Montana the center of the fight over many campaign finance restrictions. The groups have convinced a federal judge to strike down several laws as unconstitutional, including the cap on contributions given to candidates by individuals and political parties.
The federal appeals court says the federal judge needs to file his full reasoning for that decision. A brief order temporarily stayed the decision until the court can review the full case.
For those who haven’t followed the dispute, the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that that Montana’s limits on corporate campaign spending are unconstitutional and are inconsistent with the Citizens United ruling. The state’s Corrupt Practices Act was approved in 1912, after a billionaire bought a U.S. Senate seat. Without even hearing oral arguments, the justices struck down Montana’s law in a 5-4 ruling.
Rachel discussed the issue with Sen. Jon Tester (D) of Montana back in June.