Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin commented on the Supreme Court decision reversing, without hearing arguments or accepting briefs, a Montana Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the state’s right to impose its own ban on independent spending by corporations.
“Today’s decision is a clear indication that the Supreme Court will not reconsider its Citizens United ruling. Citizens United has resulted in a torrent of undisclosed corporate and special interest money into the electoral process due to the flourishing of corporate spending. This presidential election cycle has seen hundreds of millions of dollars thrown into the race on both sides to sway the American electorate, with very little oversight or accountability. It is undermining the fairness of elections and distorting the electoral process.
“Therefore, the only way to address the damage caused by that decision is to amend the United States Constitution. I recognize that amending the Constitution is not an easy task and should not be done lightly. It should only be amended when it is in the absolute best interest of the nation and its citizens. Undoing the damage of Citizens United is in the best interest of our country, and is the only way to put the electoral process back in the hands of the people, not special interests.”
In April, Kilmartin called on Congress in a letter to amend the U.S. Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In May, Kilmartin and 22 attorneys general filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to reconsider the 2010 Citizens United decision, citing that unrestricted independent campaign expenditures may distort political races, promote corruption or require corporate shareholders to fund political communication that they oppose. The states argued that all state laws governing corporate campaign expenditures seek to ensure that such expenditures did not undermine principles of accountability and integrity in state and local elections, while protecting residents’ rights to participate in the electoral process.