Judge tosses Montana corporate campaign finance ban

Jeffery Sherlock throws out 1912 Corrupt Practices Act in favor of conservative think tank

Published October 18, 2010 9:07PM (EDT)

A Montana judge says the state's century-old ban on corporate political spending is unconstitutional.

District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena on Monday tossed out the 1912 Corrupt Practices Act that prohibits corporations from making independent political expenditures.

Sherlock ruled in favor of conservative think-tank Western Tradition Partnership.

That group challenged the law this year after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out parts of a federal law that prohibited corporations and unions from paying for advertisements for or against political candidates.

Attorney General Steve Bullock had argued that the state's ban is unique and should stand despite the Supreme Court decision. He says Montana's law was in response to corporate mining barons taking over state politics.

By Matt Gouras

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