The Colorado Supreme Court ruled today that the Colorado Constitution’s bans on certain political contributions from corporations and labor groups violate the First Amendment in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in January.
The ruling was made in response to interrogatories Gov. Bill Ritter submitted to Colorado’s high court last month, asking it to clarify two sections of the state constitution. This followed the historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United.
The Colorado Supreme Court found both sections unconstitutional under Citizens United: Article XXVIII, Section 3(4), which forbids corporations and labor groups from giving funds to a political party or candidate or to expressly advocating on behalf of a campaign; and Article XXVIII, Section 6(2), which forbids corporations and labor groups from funding electioneering communications.
The court’s decision today frees corporations and labor unions to make independent contibutions expressly advocating for candidates in addition to issues.