In an article posted to Yes Magazine, author Keith Herrington writes of the necessity of a more democratic and equal election system to ensure progress towards a more democratic and equal economy. Herrington focuses on the importance of a constitutional amendment to change our current economic system—a system that benefits a select few at the expense of many.
The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which essentially legalized a system of bribery, equated money with free speech, and allowed big money interests to exercise even more influence over our political process. While Herrington sizes up Bernie Sanders and Larry Lessig for their proposed “political revolutions”, it is his emphasis on a constitutional amendment that draws the most attention. He writes, “an amendment that fixes our broken electoral system will be just the first step in the effort to restore and strengthen our democracy.” Herrington continues, “but the truth is that, without an amendment to permanently reverse the Citizens United decision and ensconce the principle of electoral equality in our country’s most basic law.”
And he’s right.
Here are a few other takeaways in favor of an amendment to overturn Citizens United:
Sanders has one-upped Lessig by calling for a constitutional amendment to solve the crisis. Lessig, for his part, has called such an amendment a “fantasy” and prefers legislative reforms. But the truth is that, without an amendment to permanently reverse the Citizens United decision and ensconce the principle of electoral equality in our country’s most basic law, Lessig’s call to “fix this democracy” will itself amount to fantasy.
“Legislation can be thrown out by the decisions of judges who are not accountable to the electorate, whereas amendments cannot.”
“Thanks again to Citizens United, only a constitutional amendment can put a hard cap on private electoral spending. Moreover, as we saw with Citizens United itself, legislation can be thrown out by the decisions of judges who are not accountable to the electorate, whereas amendments cannot.”
To read the full article, click here.