Why has this come about? It is simple, there exists an institutional memory if you will, of what occurred in Montana 99 years ago.
This has to do with labor riots and underground miners. I love underground miners. I is one. Or at least that used to be true. This has to do with serious Corporate corruption of the most vile and ugly kind, perpetrated by the Anaconda Copper Company. This has to do with calling out the United States Army against its own citizenry.
This “memory” also has to do with a Daly, a Hearst, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers……….starting to stink in a concentrated 1% kinda way no? This story was also a major impetus for the enactment of the Sherman anti-trust law which our hero Ronny Rayguns decided to stop enforcing in the 1980’s and whose lead was followed by all of our sold out corrupt politicians since. It’s still on the books for all the good it does us.
The Supreme Court of the State of Montana has issued a ruling decided by 5 – 2, that Montana has had a law on the books for 99 years now ( Good number of years, 99, no?) and that they had it there in the first place for a damn good reason.
Here from Lyle Denniston writing for SCOTUSblog is the reason this may have a prayer :
The dissenters, the majority noted, had interpreted the Citizens United ruling as declaring “unequivocally that no sufficient government interest justifies limits on political speech.” Disagreeing, the majority said that the decision put a burden upon government to show that such a restriction satisfies a “compelling state interest.” It concluded: “Here the government met that burden.”The McGrath opinion provided a vivid chronicle of the days in Montana’s past when the so-called “Copper Kings” bought and sold politicians and judges in the way that other people buy and sell consumer goods (a comparison that the majority attributed to Mark Twain). It noted that the states’ voters had had enough of that corruption, so they used their newly acquired initiative power in 1912 to pass the ban on corporate political spending.“When in the last 99 years,” the Chief Justice asked, “did Montana lose the power or interest sufficient to support the statute, if it ever did?” Even if the ban on corporate financing of campaign activity had in fact “preserved a degree of political and social autonomy,” the opinion said, that was no reason to “throw away its protections.” A state, McGrath wrote, would not repeal its murder prohibition just because the homicide rate went down.
I don’t know anything about about Chief Justice McGrath……..except that I love the guy.