Monday, June 25, 2012

American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock

Election law: corporations expenditures: First Amendment: a Montana state law provides that a “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candi­date or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13–35–227(1) (2011). The Montana Supreme Court rejected petitioners’ claim that this statute violates the First Amendment. 2011 MT 328, 363 Mont. 220, 271 P. 3d 1. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, this Court struck down a similar federal law, holding that “political speech does not lose First Amendment protection simply because its source is a corporation.” 558 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 26). The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law. There can be no serious doubt that it does. See U. S. Const., Art. VI, cl. 2. Montana’s arguments in support of the judgment below either were already rejected in Citi­zens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case.
The petition for certiorari is granted. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Montana is reversed (U.S.S.Ct., 25.06.12, American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, Per Curiam).

Loi électorale : soutien financier des entreprises commerciales aux candidats : Premier Amendement : une loi de l’état du Montana prévoit qu’une entreprise commerciale ne peut pas dépenser des fonds au profit d’un candidat ou au profit d’un comité politique qui supporte ou qui s’oppose à un candidat ou à un parti politique. Cette loi porte atteinte au Premier Amendement de la Constitution fédérale. La jurisprudence de la Cour « Citizens United » s’applique. Dans cette jurisprudence, la Cour avait annulé une loi fédérale de même contenu que la loi en question de l’état du Montana, en considérant que le discours politique ne perd pas la protection que lui confère le Premier Amendement simplement du fait qu’une entreprise commerciale est à sa source.

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