So much for states' rights from the so-called "conservative" U.S. Supreme Court --- as if 2000's Bush v. Gore didn't already tell you that they, like other "small government Conservatives", were largely full of shit when making that pretend claim...only when convenient to their policy goals, of course...
You can read more about the courageous decision earlier this year by the Montana Supreme Court --- the decision struck down today by SCOTUS --- in Ernie Canning's coverage from January. In that case, even the dissenting MT Justice found the U.S. Supreme Court's "entire concept" of corporate personhood to be "offensive."
"Corporations are not persons. Human beings are persons, and it is an affront to the inviolable dignity of our species that courts have created a legal fiction which forces people --- human beings --- to share fundamental, natural rights with soulless creations of government. ... Indeed, it is truly ironic that the death penalty and hell are reserved only to natural persons," wrote the dissenting Justice James C. Nelson who, clearly, disagreed with Citizens United, but dissented in the MT case because he believed --- as SCOTUS affirmed today --- that they, not states, can decide how campaign finance will or won't work for every state in the entire nation.
The 5-4 Citizens United majority has essentially told Montana --- and every other state in the union --- that they may not run their own elections as they wish. Even though Justice Anthony Kennedy had written for the majority in that case that "independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption," the high court today decided not to review the record of corruption --- essentially, mining companies buying up the entire state legislature in MT back at the turn of the 20th century --- which gave rise to the now-dead Montana law.
In Justice Stephen Breyer's dissenting opinion of today's summary reversal (made without even hearing oral arguments), he writes: "[E]ven if I were to accept Citizens United, this Court’s legal conclusion should not bar the Montana Supreme Court’s finding, made on the record before it, that independent expenditures by corporations did in fact lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption in Montana."
"Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that court concluded that the State had a compelling interest in limiting independent expenditures by corporations," Breyer wrote in the dissent (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan). "Thus, Montana’s experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the Court’s decision in Citizens United, casts grave doubt on the Court’s supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so."
The court's one paragraph summary reversal and Breyer's full dissent can both be read here [PDF].