Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Feb. 2, 2010

Several Congressional Leaders Begin Dialogue On a Constitutional Amendment to Redress Unlimited Corporate Spending in Elections

Statement of Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist, Public Citizen

The call for a constitutional amendment is never to be taken lightly. But the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission strikes at the very core of democracy. By a 5-4 majority, the court ruled that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as human beings, entitling them to make unlimited corporate expenditures in elections. This ruling runs contrary to America’s century-old political culture that corporations cannot spend their treasury funds supporting or attacking candidates.

Public Citizen applauds the calls of Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) to clarify through a constitutional amendment that corporations are not given First Amendment rights under our Constitution to make unlimited political expenditures.

In the words of Sen. Kerry: “Amending the Constitution is a serious endeavor and some of the sharpest minds in the country are working together right now to construct language for an amendment that would solve the problem and get to the heart of the issue. I'm ready to work with them and with the activists it will take to get an amendment ratified.”

Sen. Specter further explains: “Today’s court decision rejects 100 years of precedent and our democratic principles. To call corporate money free speech is judicial activism.”

Rep. Boswell highlights the dangers to democracy by the ruling: “The Court’s elevation of corporate speech inevitably overpowers the speech and interests of human citizens who do not have the coffers to speak as loudly.”

Reps. Kaptur straightforwardly concludes: “The ruling in the case of Citizens United v. FEC has opened the flood gates for a wave of big money to drown the voices of the American people … The only way to protect against further deleterious decisions, and to ensure the integrity of our electoral system, is to amend the United States Constitution.”

Reps. Edwards and Conyers join in the call: “Free speech rights are for people, not corporations.”

With the leadership of these members of Congress, America will begin a national dialogue on the appropriate constitutional remedy to redress the dangers of unlimited corporate spending in our elections.




Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.