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In Bid to 'Get Big Money Out of Politics,' House Lawmakers Introduce Constitutional Amendment to End Citizens United


#1

In Bid to 'Get Big Money Out of Politics,' House Lawmakers Introduce Constitutional Amendment to End Citizens United

Jake Johnson, staff writer

In a bid to loosen the stranglehold corporate money has on the political process and "restore democratic power to the American people," a bipartisan group of House lawmakers on Thursday introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's deeply unpopular 2010 Citizens United decision.


#2

Well now, the Supreme Court will definitely be the first to admit Big Money in Politics is a corrupting influence.


#3

The process to get a Constitutional Amendment passed is formidable and takes years to work its way through that process. This Amendment as proposed (H. J. RES. 2 ) only addresses the right of corporations to "money as free speech). It does not address the corporate claimed rights of persons in the Bill of Rights. This Amendment proposal only addresses money as speech. It does not address the issue that corporations are a fiction/property created by the State, not “persons”.

I’ll believe that corporations are people when Texas hangs one. Corporations currently have more rights than citizens (real people) - see the Commerce Clause/Limited Liability/Bill of Rights. Until this nut is cracked and people have the right to govern without corporate interference, the people and planet are cooked - literally…


#4

Great picture. Too bad it is unrelated to the resolution. HJ Res says nothing at all like the signs in the photo. And the resolution does nothing claimed in the title of this article. What it is, is blue smoke and mirrors to convince us who truly want BIG MONEY out of politics that Congress is doing something that they are not. Read the resolution and compare its language, especially its verbs, with ANY of the existing 27 amendments. This thing reads nothing at all like an amendment. If it is passed and ratified and serves as a template for future amendments, it will destroy the Constitution. Why? because it allows totally opposite actions to be allowed under this proposal. A state can enact far reaching regulations one year and go in the opposite direction the next to the point of reimposing Citizens United or worse standards. Both are constitutionally acceptable under this farce. Absolutely NOTHING is enforceable.


#5

Yes. One huge advantage corporations have over real people is that the former are, barring disaster from legal or economic causes, immortal.


#6

Your caveat is well warranted. We are always wise to watch what they do, NOT what they say they’re doing.


#7

Actually, HJ Res 2 does not even say that spending money is not free speech. It only allows state and federal govts. to regulate it. This leaves that legal doctrine intact but searching for meaning.


#8

Thanks for pointing this out. So basically the Dims are doing what they always do - paper tigers signifying nothing…We need a peoples’ constitutional convention. It might be a long shot, and somewhat dangerous, but what we have now means that the sixth extinction is baked in the cake.


#9

Where are our billboards?

Scalia and Kennedy are gone –

But … Roberts, Alito, and Clarence are still on the court –

They should be impeached for Citizens United –

And what is the test for corporate-personhood?


#10

Stay tuned. Another HJ Res will soon be introduced – probably HJ Res 48. It will do all that those signs in the picture accompanying the Common Dreams article imply, that HJ Res 2 does not even attempt.


#11

By passing and ratifying the right amendment, the SCOTUS becomes irrelevant in this regard.


#12

Imagine advising homeowners they may pay property taxes when they feel financially able, telling a room full of study-hall students they may continue to chat with a neighbor or begin work on the expository essay due tomorrow, or informing rambunctious adolescents that they may play dodge ball using the safe rules of the game. Chances are that many of the property taxes, the essays, and the high-spirited youth will not make choices leading to the greater good. Society has imposed stiff rules with rigid consequences for unpaid property taxes, absent school work, and rough play. In these arenas we deliver clear expectations, expect people to follow rules, and enforce consequences when they do not.
Now imagine telling Congress and the states that they “may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money,” that they “may distinguish between natural persons and corporations.” We already know we have permission to do these things, that is, “may” grants permission or denotes ability. This extremely weak language is totally useless; it is contemptuous of true representative democracy. Under this scenario perhaps one state will regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money during campaigns, another won’t. Under certain leadership Congress will concern itself with campaign finance; two or four years later Congress could adapt a difference stance.
In my garage are the two signs pictured with this article. Working three years to help my state become the eighteenth to call for an amendment to overturn Citizens United, I often carried these signs. The newly introduced H.J. Res. 2 will not bring democracy to the American people. It is a mockery of the two core ideas that money is not speech and corporations are not people. These two premises are either true, or they are false. We cannot have one group choose true, another choose false; our country will thus become even more divided. The proposed 28th Amendment must render a government unresponsive to corporate demands, completely responsive to the demands of We The People. The first requirement for such an amendment is strong, emphatic language. H.J. Res. 2 does not fit the bill.


#13

“Absolutely NOTHING is enforceable.” This says it all.


#14

Check out HJR 48


#15

Thank you CommonPaine!

This “Democracy for All Amendment” is, at best, a half-measure, designed to address money in politics, without addressing, at all, the separate, but equally destructive, doctrine of “Corporate Constitutional Rights.” At worst, it is political “lip-service” designed to allow the Democratic Party to LOOK LIKE they are working for real change without running the risk of actually getting it!

The resolution you mention, HJR 48, is the WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT supported by the group MOVE TO AMEND, and it would represent REAL CHANGE.

The WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT (which was introduced during the last two sessions of Congress, and which now has over 65 co-sponsors), has been, and will continue to be, the ONLY proposed constitutional amendment before congress that clearly, and unequivocally, says the TWO things that need to be said in any Amendment to overturn CITIZENS UNITED:

  1. that inalienable Constitutional Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to NATURAL HUMAN BEINGS ONLY (and not to artificial legal entities such as Corporations); and,

  2. that money is not speech (so that political fundraising, and political spending, can, and should be closely regulated).

To read the WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT for yourselves, and to sign a petition supporting it, go to www.movetoamend.org!

The time for “political half-measures” is over! The time for the WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT is NOW!

Steve Justino
Chair, Colorado Move to Amend