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Michael Toner Discusses the Supreme Court Declining to Review Citizens United

MSNBC; The Associated Press
June 27, 2012

Michael Toner, co-chair of Wiley Rein's Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was a guest on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" hosted by Chuck Todd to discuss the role of money in politics after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to revisit Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the high court's 2010 blockbuster campaign finance decision.

In a 5-to-4 ruling the U.S. Supreme Court summarily reversed a decision of the Montana Supreme Court that had upheld a state law limiting independent political spending by corporations. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Montana Supreme Court's decision was at odds with Citizens United, which invalidated federal election law restrictions on independent corporate expenditures in connection with federal elections.

"There's no question that states can have different approaches to campaign financing at the state and local level," said Mr. Toner.  "That experimentation is still allowed.  The issue here is that [states] can't have differences if they are unconstitutional."

In an interview with The Associated Press, Mr. Toner said the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Montana case is a signal that Citizens United will stand well beyond November.  "It's clear that the Citizens United decision remains the law of the land at the federal level and in all 50 states," said Mr. Toner said, "and that Citizens United will remain the law of the land through the presidential election."