It's time to amend the Constitution

Written by Mike Persley, Intern on May 1, 2015

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The Supreme Court seems determined to dismantle our country’s campaign finance rules, with decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC leaving lawmakers constitutionally prohibited from placing common sense limits on the amount of money raised and spent on elections. The results of their decisions have been disastrous.

Today, the voices of the rich and powerful are increasingly able to overpower everyone else’s, with nearly every potential presidential candidate courting powerful plutocrats such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson to spend millions on their campaigns. In January, the Washington Post reported that the Koch Brothers’ network plans to spend nearly one billion dollars in the 2016 campaign cycle.

But Americans aren’t sitting by as an unprecedented amount of money floods our elections. We’re taking action. In the five years since Citizens United, 16 states and 650 cities and towns have passed resolutions in support of an amendment overturning the court’s decision. More than 5 million Americans have signed petitions in support as well.

On September 11, 2014, a majority of the Senate voted in support of the Democracy for All Amendment, a proposal that would overturn Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and return our political system back to “We, the People.” The amendment would give Congress and the states the power to set reasonable limits on the amount of money raised and spent by candidates and others to influence elections, and specifically prohibits itself from being construed in any way to abridge the freedom of the press.

But Congress has a long way to go in order to get in line with the broad, bipartisan support for a constitutional amendment. A poll released in July 2014 found that nearly three in four voters (73 percent) support an amendment to overturn Citizens United. Washington, DC is the only place where reining in big money in politics is a partisan issue.

Now is the time to increase pressure on Congress to support the Democracy for All Amendment. Contact your representatives and tell them we’re going to keep fighting until the amendment becomes a reality.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Money in Politics

Tags: Fighting Big Money

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