The Movement to Overturn Citizens United is Going to Win

New Hampshire is the 20th State to Call for Overturning Citizens United

By Ian Weiner

The movement to rid politics of corporate money gained traction again this week, as New Hampshire on Thursday became the 20th state to support a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. The New Hampshire Legislature passed H.B. 504, a bill that calls on Congress to overturn the ruling and asks for an end to gerrymandering.

Over the past seven years, Public Citizen has helped to organize rallies and speaking tours across New Hampshire, and tens of thousands of residents have signed petitions and placed phone calls to their state legislators. We also worked with Granite State residents to pass 82 local resolutions calling for an amendment – a vast majority of them through town hall meetings that required petitioning to get the resolutions on the agenda and organizing efforts to pass them. With New Hampshire’s support, the total number of states supporting a constitutional amendment has exceeded half the number of states that would need to ratify a constitutional amendment passed by Congress.

The Citizens United ruling has had devastating consequences on the U.S. political system. Nine years after the ruling, wealthy individuals and massive corporations are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy access and influence our elected representatives, at the expense of the interests of the rest of the American people. Election spending continues to surge, for both presidential and congressional candidates. Super PACs that support a single candidate are steadily increasing, making the notion that they are truly independent of candidate campaigns suspect. It’s becoming progressively more difficult to track the sources of election cash as trade associations and nonprofit groups frequently are set up to funnel “dark money” into elections without disclosing any information to their donors.

Public Citizen’s efforts to end the big money dominance of our elections goes beyond our Citizens United work. We also lead the grassroots effort to pass the For the People Act (H.R.1), a historic piece of legislation that would enact sweeping reforms for campaign finance, voting rights, election security and congressional and executive ethics. The bill already passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March and has unanimous support from Senate Democrats.

Until Citizens United is overturned, the corporate oligarchy will maintain the power to block the policies favored by the majority of Americans – like raising the minimum wage, reversing climate change and securing Medicare for All. It’s time to stop letting big business exert a dominating influence over federal lawmakers and the government, and for everyday Americans to be heard.