Introduced by Rep. A. Schiff (D-CA)
Legal Personhood: n/a
Money as Speech: D-
[This proposal is nearly identical to the one Rep. Schiff introduced in the 112th Congress. The only difference is the addition of the word “reasonable,” which is open to interpretation.]
Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to forbid Congress or the States from imposing reasonable content-neutral limitations on private campaign contributions or independent political campaign expenditures, or from enacting systems of public campaign financing, including those designed to restrict the influence of private wealth by offsetting campaign spending or independent expenditures with increased public funding.
Rep. Schiff’s proposal tackles the problem as a matter of electoral law instead of what it really is—a series of fraudulent interpretations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Thus, this proposal leaves Santa Clara intact, and barely touches Buckley and Bank of Boston, potentially leading to a collision with the First Amendment. A pro-corporate activist Court could probably find a way around this language, especially with the addition of the word “reasonable,” which grants a wide latitude for manipulation.
Overturning Citizens United has around an 80% approval rating, campaign finance reform as much as 70% and public financing of elections around 60%. Ignoring the case law underpinning Citizens United and proposing an extremely narrow, and less popular, set of fixes is a non-starter.