WESTERN TRADITION v. ATTORNEY GENERAL
271 P.3d 1 (2011)
2011 MT 328
363 Mont. 220
WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., a corporation registered in the State of Montana, and Champion Painting, Inc., a Montana corporation, Montana Shooting Sports Association, Inc., a Montana corporation, Plaintiffs, Appellees and Cross-Appellants,
ATTORNEY GENERAL of the STATE of Montana, and Commissioner of the Commission for Political Practices, Defendants and Appellants.
No. DA 11-0081.
Supreme Court of Montana.
Argued and Submitted September 21, 2011.
Decided December 30, 2011.
For Appellees: Margot E. Barg (argued); Wittich Law Firm, P.C., Bozeman, Montana.
Lawrence A. Anderson, Attorney at Law, Great Falls, Montana (for MTLA, Montana Conservation Voters, Montanans for Corporate Accountability, and Montana League of Rural Voters).
Jonathan Motl; Morrison Motl & Sherwood, Helena, Montana Jeffrey D. Clements, Clements Law Office, LLC, Concord, Massachusetts (for Free Speech for People; American Sustainable Business Council; Novak and Novack, Inc., d/b/a Mike's Thriftway; Home Resource, Inc., and The American Independent Business Alliance).
Mark Mackin, Attorney at Law, Helena, Montana (for Montana Public Interest Research Group and Peoples Power League).
Karl J. Englund, Karl J. Englund, P.C., Missoula, Montana; Karl J. Sandstrom, Perkins Coie LLP, Washington, D.C. Michael T. Liburdi, James A. Ahlers, Jerica L. Peters, Perkins Coie LLP, Phoenix, Arizona (for Domini Social Investments LLC; Trillium Asset Management Corporation; Newground Social Investment; Interfaith Center On Corporate Responsibility; Harrington Investments, Inc.; The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge; Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc.; The Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Inc.; and Walden Asset Management, a Division of Boston Trust & Investment Management Company).
Chief Justice MIKE McGRATH delivered the Opinion of the Court.
¶ 1 The Attorney General of Montana and the Commissioner of Political Practices appeal from the District Court's Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment filed October 18, 2010. We reverse.PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
¶ 2 Western Tradition Partnership (WTP), Champion Painting and Montana Shooting Sports Foundation (MSSF) sued the Montana Attorney General and the Commissioner of Political Practices seeking a declaration that § 13-35-227(1), MCA, violated their freedom of speech protected by the United States and Montana Constitutions by prohibiting political expenditures by corporations on behalf of or opposing candidates for public office. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment along with briefs and supporting materials. The District Court declared the statute unconstitutional, granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs and denied summary judgment to the State defendants. The District Court enjoined enforcement of the statute and denied the motion of Champion and MSSF for an award of attorney fees. The State appeals the order of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, and Champion and MSSF cross-appeal from the denial of their request for attorney fees.STANDARDS OF REVIEW
¶ 3 This Court reviews a district court's decision on summary judgment using the same standards as the district court under M.R. Civ. P. 56. Where there are cross-motions for summary judgment and the district court is not called upon to resolve factual issues, but only to draw conclusions of law, we review to determine whether those conclusions are correct. Bud-Kal v. City of Kalispell, 2009 MT 93, ¶ 15, 350 Mont. 25, 204 P.3d 738. Accordingly, a moving party is entitled to summary judgment when there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Town & Country Foods v. City of Bozeman, 2009 MT 72, ¶ 12, 349 Mont. 453, 203 P.3d 1283. Statutes enjoy a presumption of constitutionality, and a decision on the constitutionality of a statute is subject to plenary review. City of Billings v. Albert, 2009 MT 63, ¶ 11, 349 Mont. 400, 203 P.3d 828.DISCUSSION