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Montana decision puts campaign finance reform in Congress’s court

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With the Supreme Court's decision Monday not to revisit Citizens United, the high court appears to be a dead end for those seeking to address the problem of dark money in elections. Now, key congressmen and reformers say, Congress must act. But the prospects for lawmakers doing so appear slim.

In response to the decision, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., urged Congress to swiftly enact the DISCLOSE Act, a bill he's sponsoring to require organizations making election ads to disclose their underwriters. Whitehouse, seen at left with now Justice Elena Kagan when she was making courtesy calls before ...

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Supreme Court Fails to Correct or Amend its Citizens United Decision

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The Supreme Court had a chance to right a wrong. Unfortunately, by a five to four vote, it declined. Today the court announced its decision to overturn a Montana law prohibiting corporate contributions in elections. The decision comes as no surprise. The Montana law was in direct conflict with the Court’s decision Citizens United, which gave corporations the right to spend unlimited sums of money on political activities, as long as they don’t contribute to candidates directly. But the same activist court that enlarged the scope of the issues presented by Citizens United in order to fabricate a reason to overturn a century of law, today took the narrow approach. By summarily reversing the decision of the Supreme Court of Montana, the court ignored an opportunity to reconsider two important issues in Citizens United: First, that independent expenditures do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption, and second, that current disclosure laws would provide “citizens with the information needed” to “see whether elected officials are ‘in the pocket’ of so-called moneyed interests.”

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