Bullock takes 5th on the 11th, puts Montana Corrupt Practices Act Decision at Risk
Wish I would have come across this sooner, and raised some hell. Following up on a link provided by feralcatoffreedom in a comment yesterday, I discovered the controversy surrounding Montana Attorney General (and Dem gubernatorial candidate) Steve Bullock was not doing all he could to secure victory in his defense of Montana’s near century-old Montana Corrupt Practices Act against corporate campaign
In the wake of the infamous Citizen’s United ruling, American Trade Partnerships (founded by former MT republican congressman Ron Marlenee) sued the State of Montana to vacate the state’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Corrupt Practices Act. They lost that suit in a 5-2 decision. ATP then asked the Supreme Court of the US to overturn the Montana Supreme Court ruling.
Steve Bullock, as Montana Attorney General, has been the lead attorney defending Montana’s Corrupt Practices Act against ATP and Citizen’s United. That case currently is being considered by the SCOTUS, but it seems that Bullock’s refusal to use a particularly important defense — 11th Amendment sovereign state immunity — does not square with his proclamations to be doing all he can to defend Montana in this most critical of lawsuits that could open the way for states to protect themselves from the onslaught of corporate political money.
As is being tracked by many courts and 11th amendment advocates, it is a mystery why Bullock has refused to invoke the state’s 11th Amendment sovereign immunity against being sued by a corporation or individual in federal court. This case could easily be won by Montana asserting its Constitutional rights. Many folks are raising this issue at the last minute, as the SCOTUS will decide soon, if not already, how it will proceed with this case.
“According to a report published on Saturday by Russell Mokhiber in the well-established Washington, D.C. newsletter, Corporate Crime Reporter, Attorney General Bullock’s office told a lawyer who filed an amicus ”friend-of-the-court” brief in support of Montana that the attorney general is refusing to assert Montana’s 11th Amendment constitutional sovereign immunity from suit because it is feared that the immunity argument could actually win the case.”
So Bullock is being accused of pulling back because he doesn’t actually want to win the case. Incredible. And this is the man who wants to be the next Governor of Montana? If the Montana Supreme Court case is overturned by the SCOTUS, based on an ineffective — and possibly sabotaged — defense, it will go poorly for the dems and their candidate.
This case is the only current hope that any effective defense against Citizen’s United can be raised by the states until the Constitution can be amended to reverse it. Why the hell isn’t the dem gubernatorial candidate doing all he can to win it? Guess he took the 5th, says his PR flaks:
“We have filed our brief. We don’t intend to make any commentary until after the Supreme Court decides how it will proceed.”
Un-frickin’ unbelievable. Especially if the SCOTUS decides to do a summary reversal, meaning they undo the Montana Court’s decision, and refuse to hear the case. By then it is too late to raise the 11th Amendment jurisdictional issue. And Montana’s Corrupt Practices Act fades into history.