Bopp is back. James Bopp Jr., the lawyer who brought Citizens United v. FEC to the U.S. Supreme Court has been retained by the organizations that lost their suit to overturn Montana’s ban on corporate independent expenditures to take their appeal to the nation’s high court.
The political advocacy group American Tradition Partnership, along with two other corporate plaintiffs, Champion Painting and the Montana Sports Shooting Association, on Thursday asked the Montana Supreme Court to delay enforcing its decision to uphold Montana's law that bans corporations from independently spending money to support or oppose candidates for public office. They argue that the state court's decision should be put on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews it.
Despite the 2010 ruling in Citizens United, which struck down a similar federal ban on corporate independent expenditures, the Montana Supreme Court last month said the 2010 ruling did not apply and that Montana’s unique history of corporate corruption and influence in Montana politics justified the state law prohibitions.
“The Supreme Court was clear in its Citizens United decision that corporate political speech is protected by the First Amendment, and you cannot ban political speech just because the speaker is a corporation,” said Bopp of Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom in Terre Haute, Ind. “Montana is not exempt from these principles.”