Lawmakers Unite with Activist Groups to Press for Constitutional Amendment on …

Cross-posted from United Republic

By Suzanne Merkelson *

“The Declaration for Democracy” presented at the congressional summit
signed by lawmakers and activists. Photo courtesy of People for the
American Way

On Wednesday, a group of members of Congress, local and state
lawmakers, and activist groups met in a Capitol Visitor Center hearing
room to do something unusual for its loftiness: they announced and
signed a “declaration for democracy,” pledging their support to an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United┬ádecision, which allowed unlimited spending by corporations and unions on elections.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), himself the author of such an amendment, was one of the first lawmakers to speak:

“The U.S. Constitution has served us very well, but when
the Supreme Court says, for purposes of the First Amendment, that
corporations are people, that writing checks from the company’s bank
account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the
federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on
campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger.
There comes a time when an issue is so important that the only way to
address it is by constitutional amendment.”

Sanders was joined by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Udall
(D-NM), as well as Democratic Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Donna Edwards
(Md.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Rush Holt (N.J.), John Sarbanes (Md.),
Betty Sutton (Ohio), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Ted Deutch (Fla.), Hank
Johnson (Ga.), Peter Welch (Vt.), and David Cicilline (R.I.). Many have
introduced constitutional amendments of their own; all signed on to the
declaration and expressed their support for the movement.

Each member echoed Sanders, especially focusing on the momentum
building across the country for such an amendment. Hawaii, New Mexico,
and this week, Vermont, have all passed resolutions in their state legislatures calling on Congress to overturn Citizens United. They’re joined by over 147 cities nationwide that have passed resolutions. The summit highlighted the Resolutions Week initiative spearheaded by Public Citizen and other organizations, aimed at

You can read the rest of this article at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>