The Nation

John Nichols

February 13, 2012

The Constitution of the United States can be amended in two formal ways: from the top down and from the bottom up.

But New Mexico legislators have found a third way and, hopefully, other state legislators around the country will follow their lead.

The US Constitution is traditionally amended via a process that begins with the endorsement of an amendment by the US House and US Senate and then the ratification of that amendment by the requisite three-fourths of state legislatures. That’s the top-down route. The bottom-up route begins when two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.

But what if a state legislature tells Congress to get moving?

That’s what happened over the weekend, when the New Mexico state Senate voted 20-9 to approve Senate Memorial 3, which calls on the 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. The Citizens United ruling was one of several that opened the floodgates for corporate special-interest money to overwhelm the political process.

Read the entire article here.

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