Recent news and notes from the movement to overturn Citizens United…
Senate Hearing: Taking Back Our Democracy
We’ll be on Capitol Hill for the hearing—and hope you can join us. If not, you can watch on your computer. Just follow the “Webcast” link on this page tomorrow. We’ll be live-tweeting the event and we encourage you to join in, using #democracy4sale hashtag.
[Senate Subcommittee: The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights]
Move To Amend
Citizens United is Bad for Business, Too
In recent independent polling released by the American Sustainable Business Council, 9 in 10 small business owners stated they had a negative view of the role money plays in politics. In addition, 66 percent of those polled voiced their opinion that the Citizens United decision was bad for small business, with only 9 percent saying it was good. The basis for their concern in this area stems from the fact that, as small businesses, they would rather invest in their business than in the electoral process.
Ald. Joe Moore will hold a special hearing at City Hall next Monday to propose a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election, the Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in Room 201A.
SGV Tribune (San Gabriel Valley, CA)
Schiff: Only a Constitutional amendment can overturn Citizens United
But what stood out most about Citizens United was not the Court’s legal reasoning, but its staggering naivete. As the Court confidently declared, “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” Well, glad that’s settled. Unfortunately, the five Justices who joined this opinion must be the last five Americans to feel that way.
Drive to overturn Citizens United decision
It could take a very long time, but Common Cause is determined to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision that has unleashed an unlimited torrent of virtually unregulated political campaign spending.
The book starts with a striking assertion, that if the government cannot regulate corporate speech then it cannot regulate commerce, especially in our media-driven world. Piety writes that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which deregulated corporate political speech, also will make it harder for the government to protect public interests because corporate rights to say anything is ascendant in the federal judiciary.
The Daily Beast
Richard Posner Bashes Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling
Speaking to foreign educators, Judge Richard Posner told the assembled that the wealthy give lots of money to legislators and that an individual legislator “knows that if he doesn’t promote the interests of the donor,” he won’t get any more money. Posner is a renowned member of the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is not only the nation’s most prolific jurist-academic, he is seen by some as the most influential judge outside of the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Press of Atlantic City
Amendment can overturn Citizens United
The New Jersey Legislature is considering two resolutions (SR47 and AR86) to be sent to the United States Congress calling for the overturning, by constitutional amendment, of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. New Jersey would be the seventh state to call for such an amendment.
On the Media
Is Money Speech?
There’s a key difference between the act of expressing your views and the way in which you do it. The former is directly protected by the First Amendment, but the latter is not. And more to the point, even if money were speech, that does not make it immune from restriction. The content of what you say is protected, period, but the Supreme Court has upheld various laws regulating the time, place and manner in which you can say it.
The Wichita Eagle
Voters group seeks city resolution against Citizens United
A coalition of voting-rights activists came to Wichita City Hall Tuesday asking the council to support a constitutional amendment to push corporate money out of politics. About 30 residents — part of a new group called “We the People of Kansas” – stood up in the meeting to ask the council to pass a resolution supporting a proposed amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.
The Patriot Ledger
Mass. groups take aim at Citizens United
The League of Women Voters and liberal groups including Common Cause and MASSPIRG are seeking to place a question on the November ballot calling for a federal constitutional amendment establishing that corporations are not entitled to the same free-speech rights as people. The Democracy Amendment Coalition of Massachusetts will announce its proposal at the State House on Tuesday.