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Montana corporate funds ban still on table

June 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will have a closed-door session Thursday to discuss Montana's ban against corporate political donations, the court's docket shows.

Challengers to the Montana ban say it conflicts with the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. FCC, which opened the gates to super PACs and secret 501c non-profits for unrestricted donations from corporate or union general funds.

The case was on the justices' agenda at their closed-door conference last Thursday, but any action was put off until this week.

Behind closed doors, the nine justices could vote to hear argument and review the Montana Supreme Court decision upholding that state's ban on corporate political contributions -- despite the instructions in Citizens United. It takes four votes to accept review.

They could let the state court ruling stand without ruling -- which is highly unlikely. They could again put the decision off to a later conference. Or they could "summarily reverse" the state court ruling, undoing the Montana Supreme Court decision without hearing argument. It takes five votes to reverse the Montana court without hearing argument.

If they take action Thursday, the justices would probably announce it next Monday.

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