Oct. 4, 2012

New Jersey Senate Passes Resolution Asking Congress to Introduce a Constitutional Amendment Overturning Citizens United

Statement by Aquene Freechild, Senior Organizer, Democracy Is For People Campaign

Note: Today, the New Jersey State Senate, by voice vote, passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Public Citizen applauds the New Jersey Senate’s call for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United and get big money out of elections. In passing this resolution, the Senate has cast its vote for people power, not corporate power, and we hope the state Assembly will do the same. If the resolution passes the Assembly, New Jersey would join seven other states that already have passed resolutions calling for an end to Citizens United and a return to a “one person, one vote” democracy.

Citizens United is undermining our democracy by allowing unlimited amounts of money from corporations and the super-rich to flow into elections. Since the 2010 ruling, super PACs, trade associations and other groups — many of which hide the identities of their donors — have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to influence elections.

Momentum is building for a constitutional amendment to reverse this decision and reaffirm that our elected officials should be beholden to the people, not to corporate interests. Already more than 300 localities have passed resolutions calling for an end to Citizens United. In addition, more than 125 members of Congress have indicated they support an amendment. Even President Barack Obama publicized his support for a constitutional amendment in a Reddit chat room.

The effort to pass S.R. 47 and A.R. 86 is spearheaded by NJ for the Overturn of Citizens United. The Coalition includes: American Dream Movement of Cape May County, Food and Water Watch, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 877, New Jersey Common Cause, New Jersey American Federation of Teachers, New Jersey Communications Workers of America, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Main Street Alliance, New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, New Jersey Sierra Club, New Jersey Work Environment Council, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, People for the American Way, Public Citizen, United Steelworkers District 4, and the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of New Jersey.