It’s beyond fantastic that so many well-meaning people have drafted and proposed amendments to overturn Citizens United. Many proposals have already been introduced in the U.S. Congress and many more are circulating among grass roots organizers and concerned citizens (including right here). Unfortunately, all of the proposals introduced in Congress as of June, 2012 are either too ineffective to be worth supporting or too partisan to win passage or both. There are some very good proposals emerging from the grass roots… and some not so much. This chart offers a quick breakdown:
The critiques listed below are based on research and an aggregate of legal and constitutional opinions surrounding the case law leading to the Citizens United decision. The grading system may seem harsh but this is too important a fight for soft-pedaling our critiques. Any language that could be bypassed by the Supreme Court is an automatic fail on effectiveness and any version that is too partisan, too vague or too complicated for the average voter to understand is an automatic fail on adoptability. The comments are open on all the critiques and a few have already been updated with new or contextual information. These critiques are intended to be a starting point for discussion, not the final word. But every issue raised is important enough to be an impediment to ratification. That’s worth discussion.
Any expert opinions gathered on these critiques will be posted on the blog and updated here.
Proposals by Elected Officials