On September 8, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and other toxic Supreme Court decisions that have opened the floodgates to unlimited political spending by corporations.1
We expect stiff opposition from Republicans. But with control of the Senate hanging in the balance in November, this is an important moment to force each senator to go on record in support of overturning Citizens United — or publicly sell out to their corporate backers. We need to speak out now to make it clear that millions of us across the country will be watching as the Senate votes next week.
The proposed amendment is a crucial chance to get our senators on record before the midterm election either supporting an amendment to kick big money out of politics or shilling for their corporate donors.
We have enormous momentum in this fight. Sixteen states and roughly 600 communities have formally demanded that Congress vote to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech. 2
Amending the Constitution is not easy, nor is it a decision that should be made lightly. But it’s clear that if we don’t organize to amend the Constitution, the Supreme Court will go even further in allowing unlimited spending by corporations and rich donors.
In Citizens United, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on elections by corporations. And in McCutcheon v. FEC, the court struck down limits on how money much individual mega-donors can give to candidates during a single election cycle. Worse, the court’s conservatives aren’t likely to stop there, but will continue tearing down campaign finance protections that prevent corporations from drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans.
The Senate’s vote on the amendment will make it clear which side our senators are on: Ours or our would-be corporate overlords. We need to raise our voices now and urge the Senate to do the right thing.
Zack Malitz, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
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1. Ramsey Cox, “Reid schedules vote in September on amending the Constitution,” The Hill, August 1, 2014
2. John Nichols, “The Senate Judiciary Committee Just Backed an Amendment to Overturn ‘*Citizens United*’” The Nation, July 10, 2014