START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,392,756 people care about Politics

A Constitutional Amendment To Fix Citizens United?

A Constitutional Amendment To Fix Citizens United?

The consequences–intended or not–of the Citizens United decision couldn’t be more apparent than leading up to the 2012 presidential election. The total magnitude of secret money flowing into the election cycle is so alarming that Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have proposed a constitutional amendment to try and reign it in.

The amendment does not strip corporations of their status as persons, nor does it take away first amendment rights of political speech. Instead, it explicitly grants Congress and the states the authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures.

The amendment proposes the following: authorize Congress to regulate the raising and spending of money for federal political campaign contributions and expenditures, including independent expenditures, allow states to regulate in an identical fashion at their level, and permit Congress to pass future campaign finance reform legislation.

It is an interesting tactic to a thorny problem of regulating political speech in the form of campaign spending. That’s because unlike most other forms of speech, in both Citizens United and its predecessor Buckley v. Valeo the Supreme Court has made reasonable restrictions on that speech nearly impossible to craft. This amendment would reverse that precedent. Corporations and independent advocacy groups (as well as individuals) could still spend money as political speech, and could probably still find ways to do so secretly, just under tighter standards.

It’s a pragmatic approach, even if it cedes the argument that corporations should have the right to spend money to influence elections. But it has a long way to go before passage. Congress couldn’t even pass the modest Disclose Act, a bill that only addressed disclosure of campaign spenders, so it’s hard to imagine this amendment finding broad support.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t support the effort and put pressure on our representatives to get behind substantive campaign finance reform. The health and maybe even the fate of our democracy depends on it.

Related Stories:

We The People Campaign Takes On Citizens United and More: Campaign Cash Roundup

Challenging the Super PAC’s

Read more: , , , ,

Photo from tracy o via flickr.

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

71 comments

+ add your own
9:20PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

The Supremes made a supremely bad decision, and the only way to rectify it, is to pass a Constitutional Amendment. Corporations are NOT people, and if we hope to keep America a democracy, where THE PEOPLE elect their representatives, we must repeal this decision through passage of a constitutional amendment.

5:32AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011

William G.: "Did anyone read the article above? It is suggesting we give MORE control to DC."

Excuse me? The Republicans keep saying that corporations should be exempt from 'regulations'--but then pass law after law regulating what a woman should do with her body (as only one example among many), trying to pass laws that say that if a woman has a miscarriage she should be investigated by the police--how do you figure that that gives LESS control to DC?

It doesn't matter whether you're registered as a Republican or not--you could be a member of the Freedom for Martians party for all I care. The point is, and should be for you as well, that the members of Congress were supposedly elected to represent all of us, not just whomever can scrape together enough money to satisfy one person's personal greed. The Supreme Court is supposed to represent justice--which is supposed to be blind, in order to administer ALL the laws fairly--but its members are now seen to be accepting favors, if not out-and-out bribes, from people with lots of money who want to pass laws exempting them from all previous laws that were passed in order to keep them from walking over the individuals’ personal rights in their greed.

And that should offend you as much as it does the rest of us.

11:58AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

Election day is coming and we have a chance to get rid of all the corperate owned polititians both Republican and Democrat as both are just as corrupt today. So do your homework find out how rich the polititian is and how much corperate money he took in before you vote then say no to the corperate puppets. The scary part is ill bet not one polititian hasn't taken corperate money.

3:53PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

'It’s a pragmatic approach, even if it cedes the argument that corporations should have the right to spend money to influence elections' It may be pragmatic but it is not a good solution mainly because it does not address the stupidity of corporations being individuals. A corporation is made up of individuals that already have the constitutional rights the SCOUS has given to the corporate body. It also does not really address the cost of elections which are unfair to those who would consider running for office but cannot because of finances.

Leaving it up to Congress to decide or States to decide how much will be spent on elections is like a child having his hand in the cookie jar while asking for a cookie.

We need a constitutional amendment regarding elections at all levels. We need to make sure there is a cap on what can be spent on electing candidates for every elected position, we must insure we keep lobbyist out of the equation, that districting is done by non-elected officials, that voters can vote with a valid picture id card, and that corporations are not individuals and only individuals have constitutional rights

2:20PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

It is not a stretch to call this the worst supreme court decision since dred scott. Fact is that this is a ruling that was more in line to benefit the wealthy, and shut the lower class out of government. we have reached the point that history has repeated, and once again, we have to rebel against the ruling class, this time the wealthy have been cast in this role, taking the place of the british. The tea Party has been stolen, and alinged with the Brits this time.

I hope the case is over turned!

7:37AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

The sooner we limit the power and influence of corporate pigs, the better for the rest of us 99%

2:01AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

First & for most a corp is not a human being! 2nd does not matter which puppeteer you refer to be it Obama or 1 of the other puppets running, they will all do the same, they are all run by the puppet master's (wallstreet, banksters, The Fed, etc, etc.) ALL BUT 1 THAT IS, & HE WILL NEVER TAKE NOR HAS HE EVER TAKEN A PENNY OF SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY. SO ASK YOURSELF AN HONEST QUESTION IF YOU DARE, ARE YOU WILLING TO DO WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DONE & CONTINUE TO GET WHAT YOU ALWAYS GOT, BY CONTINUING TO VOTE FOR THE SAME PARTY OF A DIFFERENT COLOR??? OR DO YOU REALLY TRULY HONESTLY WANT TO RETURN TO OLD FASHIONED VALUES & WHAT THIS COUNTRY WAS BASED ON, FOUGHT FOR, AND DIED FOR??? IF YOU CHOOSE THE LATER, THEIR IS ONLY ONE CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT, THE "ONLY HONEST MAN" IN THE BUNCH OF PUPPETS UP THERE, IS THE ONE WHO'S RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!!! HE NEVER EVER ONCE IN 25 YEARS VOTED TO RAISE YOUR, YES YOUR TAXES, HE DOESN'T TAKE ANY OF THE PERKS ALLOWED HIM, THAT'S RIGHT NONE. OPEN YOUR EYES, GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND, WASH YOUR EYES OUT AND VOTE FOR TRUTH, LIBERTY, AND FREEDOM. VOTE FOR RRRRRROOOOOONNNNNNNN PPPPPAAAAAUUUUUULLLLL, HE'S RUNNING ON A REPUB TICKET, BUT IS LIBERTARIAN!! REGISTER IN ADVANCE FOR THE PRIMARIES. OR GOD HELP US ALL...

1:37AM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

@William G. Your tbagger thinking is so old it smells bad. People HIDE behind a corporation to protect themselves from being sued when they commit crimes against people. Corporations are FAR from people. Citizens United was a republican ploy for political advantage, to allow, undisclosed, billions of campaign dollars to buy elections. This is as crooked as you can get, and all under the guise of "persons." The supreme court 5 should all be impeached for being politically motivated to create laws that HURT Americans. Impeach Roberts. Impeach Scalia. Impeach Alito. Impeach blatant liar, Thomas. Impeach Kennedy -- All who voted to make Citizens United a horrific law of the land. There is no justice in this supreme court...a court that is FAR from supreme. LORD, help us witness the IMPEACHMENT of the 5 republican activists!!

10:23PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

I believe that if we ever reached the point of world peace, and equality, then it would be so much easier to find those who are actually the problem, and therefore easier to come up with solutions. As it is, there are so many problems in the world that it is very tricky, and difficult to find the true culprits, because everyone is blaming everyone else. Eliminate the surface problems, and the subtle ones will then reveal themselves. I think the powers that be use this situation to their advantage so they can hide behind a facade of looking for solutions, when in reality they are looking for ways to confuse everyone while they are screwing them.

10:17PM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

Occupy for World peace, and equality!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

meet our writers

Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.