Vermont Senate Resolves To Overturn Citizens United

Encouraged by the leadership of Senator Bernie Sanders and the phone calls, emails, and petition signatures of thousands of Americans, the Vermont Senate passed a resolution to undo the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.

The resolution approved by the Senate asks Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to clarify that “money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution.” The state Senate vote came after similar resolutions were passed in March by voters in 64 Vermont communities on Town Meeting Day.

“I congratulate the Vermont Senate for this important vote. Citizens United was one of the worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court. The people of Vermont and across America are totally disgusted with the huge amounts of money that billionaires and corporations are now throwing into the political process as a result of that misguided decision,” said Sen. Sanders.

In December 2011, Sanders introduced the Saving American Democracy Amendment, which would restore the power of Congress and state lawmakers to enact campaign spending limits like laws that were in place for a century before the controversial Citizens United ruling.

Since that time, lawmakers in several other states have introduced similar measures, applying a great deal of pressure to Congress and the Obama Administration. Montana, originally ruled that its 100 year-old ban against corporate political spending trumped Citizens United, but that decision was challenged by a conservative organization and several corporations. The case will now come before the Supreme Court, giving the Justices a long anticipated chance to reevaluate the impact of their 2010 decision.

In Washington, a summit meeting is scheduled for April 18 in the Capitol on local, state, and federal efforts to amend the Constitution in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. The meeting is hosted by Sens. Sanders and Tom Udall (D-N.M) and Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Jim McGovern. (D-Mass.).

Related Reading:

You Can Help Overturn Citizens United [Video]

President Obama Gets Behind Push To End Citizens United

The Story Of Stuff Creators Explain Citizens United [Video]

Image via Flickr/fibonacciblue


Stanley Balgobin
Stanley R5 years ago

Bernie Sanders for President. One of very few honest champions of the people, anti-Corporate greed heroes in Government. We are losing the right to be called a Democracy, we are fast approaching a fascist, totalitarian, police State. We need to OCCUPY now. Vote Democrat, kick Romney money, Kochroach funded out of town.

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M5 years ago

Yea to Bernie Sanders - a great senator (an independent too)

Robert Tedders
Robert T5 years ago

@Past Member;@Charles P.: AGREED!!

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

While the impact of the "Companies are People" philosophy have until now been focused on political campaigning, I'm not sure that it should be completely discarded. Perhaps, in the interests of consistency, this philosophy should instead be extended to the judicial system and to tax requirements. Just as the rebels who founded the USA called for "no taxation without representation", perhaps today's rallying cry should be "no representation without taxation".

Incidentally, does anyone know how long the statute of limitations runs for on financial fraud and/or mass manslaughter?

Pamylle G.
Pamylle G5 years ago

Go Vermont !

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

Notice the summit meeting is hosted by all Democrats.

“money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution.” This quote says it all. The Justices who decided with Citizens United were clearly, clearly making a political statement and having done so should be impeached. The SCOTUS is the last hope for American citizens so justices have no business being involved in politics once they take office. No matter how the SCOTUS rules on the Montana case we need a bill that clearly states the quote and that money donated to a candidate must be obtained by individual citizens and there should be a cap on how much one can give, like maybe no more than $5K No corporation, non-profit, not-for-profit or any other business or organization should be able to buy our politicians ever again.

Charles P.
Charles P5 years ago

Juliet has the right idea. However, when cloning is not possible, the next best thing is to hold the feet of your legislators to the fire. Don't agonize, organize.

Juliet Defarge
judith sanders5 years ago

We need to clone Bernie.

Ron B.
Ron B5 years ago

It will be an uphill battle to overture this atrocity, but it's one that must be attempted to help save what's left of our democracy!

Marie T.
Marie Thompson5 years ago

I Love Vermont! Together, Bernie Sanders and the people of Vermont have made that state a shining example for the rest of the country. Hooray Vermont! Best state in the nation! My only regret is I don't live there.