A Bicameral Call for a Constitutional Amendment to Nullify Citizens United
Hoping to nullify the Supreme Court’s recent decision freeing corporations to spend infinitely on federal elections, Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) today introduced a proposed constitutional amendment “permitting Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations engaging in political speech.”
“The ruling reached by the Roberts’ Court [sic] overturned decades of legal precedent by allowing corporations unfettered spending in our political campaigns,” Edwards said in a statement. “Another law will not rectify this disastrous decision. A Constitutional Amendment is necessary to undo what this Court has done.”
It’s not only House leaders eyeing that option. Testifying before the Senate Rules Committee this morning, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) also promoted that idea.
“We need a constitutional amendment to make it clear once and for all that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals,” Kerry said.
For campaign finance reform supporters, it’s exactly the right move.
“The court’s overreach is so shocking, and the certain consequences so damaging, that we must have a constitutional corrective,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said in a statement. ”The First Amendment was never intended to protect the likes of ExxonMobil, Pfizer or Goldman Sachs, nor should it.”