(PRWEB) June 18, 2012
The U.S. Supreme Court surprised most Court observers on Monday by delaying an order in a case involving the state of Montana and Citizens United, their controversial 2010 ruling that allows for virtually unlimited corporate spending in state elections.
The Court was expected by many to issue an immediate decision of “summary reversal” in the case American Tradititon Partnership v. Bullock that would uphold Citizens United and strike down a 2011 Montana court ruling that enforced that state’s anti-corruption election finance laws in seeming opposition to the federal mandate.
The Court still has three options available at its June 21 Conference: 1) summary reversal, 2) accepting the case for a full hearing later this year, or 3) refusing jurisdiction to make any decision about the case at all, in which event Montana would win immediately and their state laws would stand and Citizens United would be effectively reversed.
“Surprise, surprise. The Court may recognize that they don’t have the authority to summarily reverse,” said attorney Carl Mayer, counsel for The Eleventh Amendment Movement (TEAM, http://www.11thAmendment.org), a non-partisan group that filed an amicus “friend-of-the-court” brief in the case that argues that the Constitution’s 11th Amendment forbids the Court from taking jurisdiction in this case.
“The 11th Amendment jurisdictional issue may be giving the Court pause here, especially since all five pro-Citizens United justices have also strongly supported 11th Amendment state immunity from suit in similar cases,” reasoned Mr. Mayer, who has Supreme Court success and recently won an important constitutional victory in a federal court in New York that overturned a section of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that permitted indefinite detentions of citizens in the U.S. “It only takes one justice to do the right thing and again uphold the 11th Amendment to swing the Court to vote that it has no constitutional authority to hear this case, and they should refuse jurisdiction,” he explained.
Adam Furgatch, co-founder of TEAM, was encouraged at Monday’s announcement. “The Court knows a strong argument when they see it,” he said. “There hasn’t been one single legal commentator or law professor who has been able to find fault with the 11th Amendment argument.”
Mr. Furgatch added, “The Court can also simply reject the case on an 11th Amendment ‘technical error’ where the corporations’ attorney, James Bopp, Jr., blundered and submitted incorrect, rule-breaking documents which is fully argued in TEAM’s brief. A ruling only on the technical error would allow the Court to avoid political criticism and still uphold the Constitution, to their credit.”
Two 11th Amendment amicus briefs and a Summary may be viewed at TEAM’s website, LINK: http://www.11thamendment.org/2012/05/08/11th-amendment-supreme-court-briefs/
More 11th Amendment Background Information:
Case Citations from this story:
1. Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S.Ct. 876 (2010)
2. Petition for a Writ of Certiorari: American Tradition Partnership, Inc., fka Western Tradition Partnership, Inc., et al., Petitioners v. Steve Bullock, Attorney General of Montana, et al. – U.S. Supreme Court Docket # 11-1179
3. (NDAA) Hedges v. Obama, S.D.N.Y., Case No. 12-CV-331 (KBF)(Slip Opinion, May 16, 2012)
Contact: Adam Furgatch: 310-967-5854