American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock SCOTUS Briefs
On March 26, American Tradition Partnership (formerly known as Western Tradition Partnership) filed its petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. This past Friday, May 18, Montana filed its brief in opposition to that petition. The stakes of this case are, of course, high for Montana, which has prohibited corporations from spending corporate money to electioneer political campaigns since 1912.
Montana is in a tough position in the argument over whether the Supreme Court should review the Montana Supreme Court decision because that decision concluded that the Corrupt Practices Act did not conflict with the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC. The Supreme Court stayed the Montana decision less than two months later, however, and Justices Ginsburg and Breyer (both dissenters in Citizens United) implied that they did not believe that Montana decision was congruent with Citizens United. To be sure, Justices Ginsburg and Breyer did still appear to view Citizens United v. FEC unfavorably.
- Montana’s brief in opposition to cert: ATP Brief in Opposition
- Brief of 22 other states in favor of Montana’s position: ATP Supporting Brief
- Other related documents can be found at the Montana Department of Justice website
What’s next? According to Supreme Court Rule 15.5, American Tradition Partnership has 10 days to file a reply brief. After that, the Clerk will distribute the briefs to the Justices, and according to the Court’s distribution calendar, this will likely occur on May 29 for the June 14 conference. Then, according to the Supreme Court’s calendar for this current Term the first change that the Court has to make any disposition (grant or denial of cert) would be June 18. The Court is now, however, to go off schedule during its last weeks of the Term, so as to finish up its decisions that are due at the end of the term. This means that it could be some time before we know whether the Court will review the Montana Supreme Court’s decision.
This will be a topic discussed at the Montana Law Review’s Symposium in September 2012. Please join us for the discussion.