Is Montana Attorney General, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Steve Bullock not doing enough when it comes to the Montana Supreme Court’s challenge to Citizens United?
That’s the argument coming from the left, and from a group called The 11th Amendment Center. In fact, a blog post at 4&20 Blackbirds ,a liberal blog in Montana, has a headline reading, “Bullock takes 5th on the 11th, puts Montana Corrupt Practices Act Decision at Risk.”
That argument certainly cannot sit well with the Bullock campaign, as Bullock may well be on his way to losing his third case before The Supreme Court of the United States, all in his first and only term as Montana’s Attorney General.
Originally, I expected that the US Supreme Court would rule against Montana’s challenge to Citizens United, and that Bullock and others would shift away from yet another loss at the Supreme Court by blaming a “partisan makeup at the Court.” Now, any attempt to use that argument is severely undercut, as the left and a few outlets here in Montana raise the claims brought by the 11th Amendment Center.
In case you missed it, The Huffington Post, a liberal website, first posted this:
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.
According to the Corporate Crime Reporter, when attorney Carl Mayer recommended that Montana’s attorney general raise the jurisdictional issue before the Supreme Court moves to rule on the case, an assistant attorney general emailed back that his office was reluctant to raise 11th Amendment issues because of “the potential implications in other contexts, if your theories were adopted.” The response not only fails to spell out what those “implications” would be, but it suggests that the assistant AG admits the argument may be powerful enough to prevail.
John Adams, with The Great Falls Tribune, has a story posted Friday that covers the 11th Amendment argument, and also gets a response from the Attorney General’s office:
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.”
Bullock’s spokesman, John Doran, said the legal briefs filed by Montana are supported by some of the brightest legal minds in the country.
“Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia, as well as Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and John McCain, R-Ariz., agree with Montana’s position,” Doran said. “Our briefs focus on what this case is actually about: money in state politics and whether the court opened the floodgates of corruption in the states when it decided Citizens United.”
Friday, June 22, 2012 5:31 PM
I am a Co-founder of The Eleventh Amendment Movement (TEAM) referred to in the above articles. Our attorneys have won multiple Supreme Court initiatives. The claim of “frivolous” is completely unfounded. Our briefs cite previous Court opinions from all five conservative pro-Citizens United justices as supporting 11th Amendment principles in similar cases. Is this law professor or Attorney General Bullock calling the justices’ own opinions and Court precedent “frivolous?”
The law professor’s statements indicate he never read the briefs, his statements are that easily refutable. Only if necessary, next week TEAM will address all the naysayers.
On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States may just do something great…uphold the 11th Amendment constitutional limits to their jurisdiction and reject the Montana case. Montana Wins Immediately!