Latest Developments

Senator Brown Introduces Legislation

Sherrod Brown Introduces Citizens United Fixes
By David Dayen, FireDog Lake

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced a bill that would mitigate the effects of the Citizens United ruling on corporate political spending. Saying that corporations already have enormous influence in Washington, as evidenced by their $3.3 billion dollars in annual lobbying expenses, Brown’s bill would at least try to stop this influence from moving into the electoral sphere.

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Senator Dodd To Introduce Amendment

By Senator Dodd’s Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced today that he will be introducing a constitutional amendment in the coming days to reverse the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The decision overturned 100 years of precedents to come to the unjustified conclusion that corporations deserve the same free speech protections as individual Americans.

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Senator Kerry Backs Amending the Constitution

Kerry Blasts SCOTUS Campaign Finance Decision
Press release from Kerry’s office

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) testified before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration at a hearing examining the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to allow unlimited corporate spending in elections.

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Amend the Constitution to Reclaim Our Democracy

On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are entitled to spend unlimited funds in our elections. The First Amendment was never intended to protect corporations. This cannot stand. Support our campaign to overrule the Court via a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment to the people. Check out the video
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Will the People’s Rights Amendment prevent people from joining together into political parties, citizens’ organizations, associations, unions or other groups to participate in elections and public debate?

No. The People’s Rights Amendment applies to corporate entities and has no application to voluntary associations and does not change constitutionally protected freedom of association. People are always free to associate with others to promote their speech or engage in political activity.

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Will the People’s Rights Amendment limit speech?

No. The People’s Rights Amendment will preserve and protect free speech for everyone. Eliminating corporate money in politics or eliminating the ability of corporations to strike down laws that executives of a corporation may think limit corporate marketing campaigns will not effect the speech rights of a single person.

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How did the Citizens United case happen?

Citizens United is the extreme result of a focused political effort in the past two or three decades to transform the First Amendment into a tool for corporations to avoid regulation and oversight by the American people. Before 1976, there was no such thing as protected “commercial speech” under the First Amendment. For the first two centuries of the American republic, corporations did not have First Amendment rights to limit the reach of democratically enacted regulations. And states and Congress could regulate or prevent corporate contributions and expenditures in elections.

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Does the Constitution require the result in Citizens United?

No. Citizens United v. FEC would never have been decided this way in any other era of the Court in our history. The five self-described conservatives on the current Court have cast aside a century of federal restrictions on corporate money in politics, and two centuries of First Amendment jurisprudence. The notion that a corporation has First Amendment rights to “speech” and political activity is contrary to the history, words, spirit and intent of the First Amendment and American self-government.

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