The End Of Citizens United?

By Ann Werner

In a surprising and much welcomed display of bi-partisanship, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the American Tradition Partnership vs. Bullock, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The filing is in support of the Montana Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the state’s ban on independent expenditures by corporations.

The US Supreme Court issued a stay of decision on the case in February and the McCain/Whitehouse brief calls upon the Court to review the finding that the Citizen’s United ruling allowing independent expenditures has no corrupting influence in political campaigns.

The brief reads: “Evidence from the 2010 and 2012 electoral cycles has demonstrated that so-called independent expenditures create a strong potential for corruption and the perception thereof…The news confirms, daily, that existing campaign finance rules purporting to provide for ‘independence’ and ‘disclosure’ in fact provide neither.”

In a joint statement the senators said, “This unregulated and unaccountable spending invites corruption into our political process and undermines our democracy. We urge the Supreme Court to make clear that legislatures can take appropriate actions against corrupting influences in campaigns.”