On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review and summarily reversed the decision of the Montana Supreme Court in American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, No. 11-1179.
A Montana state law provides that a "corporation may not make ... an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party." Plaintiff American Tradition Partnership, Inc. challenged the statute as violating the First Amendment's free speech guarantee. The Court held that the Montana case was controlled by the Court's earlier decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and that the distinctions Montana sought to draw were not meaningful. The Court therefore reversed the Montana Supreme Court's decision.
In a brief dissent, Justice Breyer reiterated the dissent he had joined in Citizens United and commented that Montana's experience in particular "casts grave doubt on the Court's supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so."
The Court issued its decision per curiam. Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined.