A story in the ABA Journal, "Citizens Dis-United: Justices May Take Another Look at Campaign Finance Case," explores the possible implications of a stay granted in a challenge to a Montana statute that bans corporate spending in state elections. Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, wrote:
Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U. S. ___ (2010), make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 42). A petition for certiorari will give the Court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway. Because lower courts are bound to follow this Court’s decisions until they are withdrawn or modified, however, Rodriguez de Quijas v. Shearson/American Express, Inc., 490 U. S. 477, 484 (1989), I vote to grant the stay.
In an intriguing piece on how the Court's pending decisions may play in the Presidential campaign, ScotusBlog's Tom Goldstein speculates that while a grant of cert is a distinct possibility, a reversal of Citizens United is not likely, at least for the foreseeable future:
In truth, the odds that Montana can prevail in this case on that or any other strategy are very, very low. I don’t doubt that three members of the Court (the current Justices who dissented in Citizens United) will vote for the state, probably joined by Justice Kagan. But finding a fifth vote among the members of the majority that decided Citizens United and previous campaign finance decisions strikes me as extremely unlikely. The majority views this line of cases as reflecting a basic, foundational point about democracy: that there is a right to participate in electoral campaigns to persuade voters. The handwriting is on the wall that Montana’s law is going to be declared unconstitutional.
But that does not make the state’s effort wasted and the case an empty exercise. This is one battle in a far wider war for both sides. Because a constitutional amendment is unlikely to be adopted, the relationship between campaign finance law and the First Amendment is destined to be unsettled (in the sense that a shifting Supreme Court majority could reverse course) for at least the next century. The dissenters likely view the case, at the least, as an opportunity to lay the foundation for what they hope will be the eventual overruling of the current body of campaign finance law at some point years down the road.