WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 22 – Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock’s office issued contradictory and confusing statements to a reporter on Thursday that indicate he doesn’t understand his own litigation strategy in Montana’s current Supreme Court battle against Citizens United, the Court’s controversial 2010 election finance law ruling, says The Eleventh Amendment Movement (TEAM), a non-partisan advocacy group.
TEAM (http://www.11thAmendment.org) had filed a brief in support of Montana in the case, American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, and says that reporter John Adams asked them for comments about statements made by the attorney general’s office criticizing TEAM’s brief. TEAM’s attorneys responded that the attorney general’s statements showed a “distinct and troubling lack of understanding about the fundamental nature ...
Critics question Bullock’s strategy in Citizens United challenge
by John S. Adams
HELENA – Is Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock ignoring the best possible challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling?
That’s the question being raised by a growing chorus of activists and legal bloggers who claim the key to overturning the high court’s polarizing landmark ruling – which allows corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns – lies in the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
According to the legal theory proffered by Hawaii-based The Eleventh Amendment Movement and Essential Information, a nonprofit citizen action group founded by Ralph Nadar, the 11th Amendment bars federal courts from hearing lawsuits brought by private parties against states.
The groups argue the Supreme Court should not even consider the lawsuit challenging Montana’s 100-year-old Corrupt Practices Act, American Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General.
Attorneys for the state say they’re following the best course of action to defend Montana’s campaign finance law, and one legal scholar called arguments in support of 11th Amendment jurisdictional claims “frivolous.”
Supporters of the legal strategy say Montana has the best chance to deal a potentially ...
Is Montana’s Attorney General Ignoring the Best Challenge to Citizens United?
by Charlie Cray
The Corporate Crime Reporter, the Washington, DC-based newsletter edited by Russell Mokhiber, reported a few days ago that Steve Bullock, the attorney general of Montana, is refusing to assert Montana’s sovereign immunity from suit in a case brought before the U.S. Supreme Court, paradoxically, out of fear that the immunity argument could actually win the case.
That’s consistent with what a spokesperson from the AG’s office told me when I called them a few weeks ago .The case is American Tradition Partnership (ATP) v. Bullock, originally decided by the Montana Supreme Court, which refused to apply the controversial Citizens United decision to state-level elections. The suit was brought to the federal Supreme Court by James Bopp, Jr., the same attorney who represented Citizens United.
By filing the case at the U.S. Supreme Court, the clever corporate rights attorney effectively invited the Court to stomp on Montana’s decision by expanding the scope of its Citizens United decision, thereby freezing and ultimately overturning ...