New York Lawmakers Advance Drive for a Constitutional Amendment Reversing Citizens United

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  • Scott Swenson, Dale Eisman
"We Can Win This Fight," Hobert Flynn Says

The New York legislators who’ve called on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision put the Empire State in the forefront of a national citizens’ movement to revitalize American democracy and rein in the power of big money, Common Cause said today.

“New York is in good company today,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “As the 17th state with a majority of legislators calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United, it is joining with millions of voters and their elected representatives across the country in urging common sense action to restore balance to our politics.

“I want to congratulate our friends at Public Citizen and all the other groups that were part of the New York for Democracy coalition for their leadership on this issue,” Hobert Flynn said. Common Cause has been instrumental in leading or participating in coalitions to pass resolutions supporting an amendment in Montana, Colorado and other states. Overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independent voters want action to shift power away from big money and back to the people, she noted.

Citizens United and related court decisions have upended our politics, allowing big money interests to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. The good news is that we can win this fight and pass a 28th amendment to the Constitution,” Hobert Flynn said. “I’m especially pleased that so many members of the New York legislature crossed party lines to join this effort. New York is the first with at least one chamber under Republican control in which a majority of lawmakers have endorsed an amendment.”

Two years ago, 55 U.S. senators – a majority – cast a historic vote to send the Democracy for All Amendment to the states. The vote fell short of the two-thirds required to advance the amendment but was an important first step. 

Hobert Flynn said New York’s support and a scheduled referendum for California voters in November puts the issue at the center of this year’s election campaigns. She urged voters to put the candidates’ stands on the proposed amendment at the top of their agendas as they make decisions about who to support on Election Day.