Media Roundup: Supreme Court Rules on Montana

The Supreme Court reaffirmed the Citizens United decision yesterday with American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock.  Below are links to a number of useful articles on the decision:

National Review: Montana’s Citizens United Challenge Fails

By Bradley A. Smith

Today’s Supreme Court summary reversal of the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling that Citizens United v. FEC somehow didn’t apply to Montana is hardly surprising. 

Read more…

The Hill: Supreme Court summarily reverses Montana’s Citizens United case

By Rachel Leven

Center for Competitive Politics founder Brad Smith said the decision “is correct,  both empirically and as a matter of law.”

Read more…

Daily Caller: Supreme Court upholds Citizens United decision

By Angelica Malik

Smith said in a statement,  “In the two years since Citizens United,  campaigns have been more competitive and more issue-oriented,  with higher voter turnout and more voices heard.”

Read more…


LA Times: After winning right to spend,  political groups fight for secrecy

By Joseph Tanfani and Melanie Mason

Bradley A. Smith,  a Republican and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission,  is among those whose views have changed on disclosure. In 2003,  he endorsed disclosing donors as a way to discourage corruption by “exposing potential or actual conflicts of interest.”

But later,  he said,  he concluded that disclosure requirements could be burdensome for citizen groups. And now that campaign reports are posted online,  he added,  people can easily identify and target their opponents.

Read more…

Boston Globe: Supreme Court reaffirms Citizens United ruling

By Tracy Jan

Bradley Smith, a professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, and former member of the Federal Election Commission, said none of the horror stories some said would come out of the 2010 decision have materialized.

“This fear that corporations would basically dictate policy and drive everybody else out, there is no evidence of that,” Smith said, citing higher voter turnout, more competitive races, and the fact that Fortune 500 companies are not dominating politics as reasons why the court should not reconsider Citizens United.

Read more…

Huffington Post: Citizens United Montana Sequel: Supreme Court Ruling Panned By Reformers, Politicians

By Paul Blumenthal

The Center for Competitive Politics, a group supportive of Citizens United and money in politics, said in a blog post on its website, “The First Amendment means the same thing in Montana as it does everywhere else in the country: people, no matter their associative status, may speak freely about politics.”

Read more…

WBUR: Big Money In The 2012 Campaign

Brad Smith, chairman and co-founder of the Center for Competitive Politics. He is a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

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Forbes: Here Is What’s So Super About Super PACs

By Chip Mellor

This avalanche of negative coverage is frustrating to free speech advocates because it isn’t warranted by the reality of super PACs.  At their most basic level, super PACs are just groups of people that pool money to spend on political speech.  Individuals have always been permitted to spend as much as they want on such speech as long as they act alone, but until recently federal law prohibited groups of people from contributing more than $5,000 apiece to do the same thing.  That meant that Bill Gates could spend $1 billion on political ads if he wished, but if you got together with your neighbor, you’d be limited to spending $10,000 total.  The Institute for Justice, allied with the Center for Competitive Politics, challenged that irrational restriction in a case called v. FEC.  Our victory in that case in March of 2010 laid the legal groundwork for the creation of what have come to be known as super PACs, which are just speaking in the same way that wealthy individuals have been allowed to speak for decades.

Read more…


  1. […] reaffirmed the Citizens United decision yesterday with American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock. Read more… Independent groups NY Times: Citizens United Editorial It is not as if those five […]

  2. […] to suggest collusion between shadowy groups and candidates in Montana — home, of course, to the recent challenge to Citizens United that was ultimately reversed by The Supreme Court — to the final attempts to confuse a […]

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.