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Mont. L. Rev.


This article examines the Montana Supreme Court decision in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General which upheld Montana’s long standing Corrupt Practices Act banning corporate contributions in judicial elections in the wake of Citizens United v. FEC. The author notes that Montana’s continued effort to restrict independent corporate expenditures in campaigns for elected office is rooted in the State’s history of corrupt elections, which took place at the turn of the twentieth century.

The article first details the extent of that corruption. The article next analyzes Citizens United and how it’s sweeping conclusions about independent campaign expenditures and corruption conflict with the way the Court treated those same expenditures a year earlier in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. The article then discusses Western Tradition Partnership. The author argues that even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Montana’s statute as a whole, the Court should use American Tradition Partnership to revisit the issue of independent corporate expenditures in judicial elections and reconsider at least that aspect of Citizens United.

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