Nevada becomes the 19th state to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

With public support increasing, the movement to overturn Citizens United with a constitutional amendment continues to grow.

  • 19 states have called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United as of this date.
  • 5 million petition signatures have been gathered nationwide supporting an amendment.
  • 700 cities and towns have passed local resolutions.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its January 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that under the First Amendment, limits cannot be placed on corporate spending in elections. Immediately after the ruling, Public Citizen and other democracy advocates began calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the dangerous decision.

In April 2010, Hawaii became the first state to demonstrate its disagreement with the Citizens United ruling by passing a resolution calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations aren’t people and limiting the ability of corporations to influence elections through political spending.

Over the next seven years, 17 other states called for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling, expressing their support for the movement to rid politics of the corrupt influence money has. These states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

An additional 700 municipalities called for an amendment to overturn the ruling, and five million petition signatures were gathered across the nation by the time Nevada passed its resolution. A national poll found 80% of Republicans and 83% of Democrats supported overturning Citizens United.

On May 25, 2017, Nevada became the 19th state to support the constitutional amendment. That gave the movement support from half of the 38 total states needed to enact such an amendment, after it is approved by two-thirds of the both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Americans know that big money is rotting away the foundation of our democracy and blocking an economic populist agenda that Americans desperately want but the corporate class abhors. The move by the Nevada Legislature adds momentum to a growing movement for a constitutional amendment and a working democracy. The day is not far off when we will prevail. Public Citizen President Robert Weissman

Highlights

  • Nevada’s support marks the halfway point for the number of states needed to enact an amendment.
  • Americans across the political spectrum agree that big donors have too much power over our government.
  • In addition to the 19 states, 700 municipalities have called for a constitutional amendment.