Cover story update: Supreme Court backs Colorado organization in upholding Citizens United decision



Indy cover on the Colorado-based American Tradition Partnership
  • Indy cover on the Colorado-based American Tradition Partnership
In our January 12, 2012 issue, we wrote a cover story on a secretive Colorado-based advocacy group called American Tradition Partnership, which had just lost a case before the Montana Supreme Court, upholding the state's century-old ban on corporate contributions to political candidates.

In that ruling, the conservative advocacy group (which previously operated under the name Western Tradition Partnership) was accused of "questionable tactics and blatant hypocrisy." The case concerned the fact that the organization had served as a conduit for as much as half a million dollars, from undisclosed sources, to influence Montana's 2010 election races.

But in an unsigned U.S. Supreme Court decision this morning, the court ruled on behalf of American Tradition Partnership, in the process upholding its highly controversial Citizens United ruling. That means Montana will be forced to abide by the higher court's "corporate personhood" ruling, and no longer be able to enforce its own long-standing ban.

The 5-4 decision also indicates that the majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices has no intention of revisiting Citizens United, despite multiple polls indicating opposition by a majority of Americans.

All that could shift if Barack Obama is re-elected in November, since a number of justices are expected to retire over the course of the next four years.

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