DATE: February 13, 2012
CONTACT: John Bonifaz, (413) 253-2700
FOR RELEASE: Immediate
NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE CALLS FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO OVERTURN THE SUPREME COURT’S CITIZENS UNITED RULING AND RESTORE DEMOCRACY TO THE PEOPLE
SECOND STATE IN THE NATION TO CALL FOR AN AMENDMENT
STATEMENT OF JOHN BONIFAZ, DIRECTOR, FREE SPEECH FOR PEOPLE
On February 11, 2012, by a vote of 20-9, the New Mexico State Senate approved Senate Memorial 3, calling on the US Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to overturn the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and to restore republican democracy to the people. The New Mexico House of Representatives passed a similar bill, House Memorial 4, by a vote of 38-29, on January 31, 2012. With these votes, New Mexico has now become the second state in the nation to call for such a constitutional amendment. Hawaii passed a similar resolution in April 2010.
Free Speech For People applauds the New Mexico legislature on this historic vote. This marks a major victory for the constitutional amendment movement to reclaim our democracy. The Citizens United ruling presents a direct and serious threat to the integrity of our elections, unleashing a torrent of corporate money into our political process. The ruling is also the most extreme extension yet of a corporate rights doctrine which has been eroding our First Amendment and our US Constitution for the past 30 years. As with prior egregious Supreme Court rulings which threatened our democracy, we the people must exercise our power under Article V of the Constitution to enact a constitutional amendment which will preserve the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people.
Free Speech For People initiated this campaign in New Mexico, and we are honored to have worked with a coalition of state legislators, grassroots activists, business leaders, public interest groups, and ordinary citizens in pressing for the passage of these memorials. We thank especially New Mexico State Senators Steve Fischmann and Eric Griego and State Representative Mimi Stewart for their leadership in the legislature on this critical matter. And, we thank our organizational partners and allies in New Mexico who helped raise the public consciousness on this question and who helped make this victory possible. These allies include: Center for Civic Policy, Common Cause New Mexico, League of Women Voters of New Mexico, New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, El Centro, Southwest Organizing Project, All Families Matter, New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, Native American Voter Alliance, Progress Now, and Move On.
The State of New Mexico is helping to lead the way for the nation in this movement to ensure that people, not corporations, govern in America. We look forward to working with state legislatures across the country which will follow New Mexico’s example and defend our democracy.
Free Speech For People is a national non-partisan campaign launched on the day of the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC to press for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to overturn the ruling and to restore democracy to the people. For more information, visit freespeechforpeople.org.