June 18, 2014
Formal Effort Launched to Restore Core First Amendment, Democratic Values
Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen
Note: The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today will consider and vote on S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment proposed by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) that aims to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to campaign finance. Public Citizen will be available to comment on the amendment right after today’s markup.
The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution today will launch the formal effort to amend our great governing document to restore core First Amendment and democratic values.
Thanks to a series of Supreme Court rulings – most notably the recent Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, but stretching back further in time – “one person, one vote” is being displaced by “the best election money can buy.”
The amendment under consideration today would establish that the spending of money is not entitled to the same constitutional protection as actual speech, and that corporations do not have the same right to influence elections as real, live, breathing human beings. It would give Congress and the states the authority to enact sensible – and overwhelmingly popular – measures to end domination of our elections by corporations and the super-rich.