Sunday, January 21st, 2018, marked the eighth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. This case said that we can no longer bar corporations from spending unlimited sums of money to take over our elections. The ruling was both a dangerous campaign finance decision and an extreme extension of the fabricated doctrine of corporate constitutional rights. The result of Citizens United is that, even more than before, elected officials listen to their funders (the wealthy few) more than they listen to everyday people living in this country.
Free Speech For People was founded on the day of the Citizens United ruling in January 2010. Since then, we have worked with other organizations to build an effective and widely-supported campaign for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to overturn Citizens United and the Court’s 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, restore democracy to the people, and advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all. Nineteen states have already joined this movement in passing resolutions to overturn Citizens United, and more states will be joining with every election. Overturning Citizens United will not end the fight for democracy, but it will expand the definition of democracy and allow for more conversations on how to move toward a country that works for everyone.
One of the less-often-discussed implications of these Supreme Court decisions is how money in politics and unchecked corporate power can have especially harmful effects on already-marginalized communities. Take the opportunity today to learn more about how Citizens United affects the queer and trans community, or how it affects immigration policy, or how activists in the money and politics community can help make the amendment movement more intersectional and inclusive.
Let’s make 2018 the turning point. You can take action today in the fight to overturn Citizens United.