I really hate to burst your bubble, because you are so earnest about this, but there is never going to be a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. The most you may ever get is some statute mandating immediate disclosure. Even Eliot Spitzer admits this was the right decision; it was a first amendment decision that pivoted on the government’s assertion that it had the right to ban books, and it is never going to be undone. As Justice Scalia says, turn off your TV.
Posted by Robert Holladay on Feb 24, 2012 at 6:01 PM
“by allowing Congress to regulate corporate expenditures” Does this excerpt from the article mean that the Amendment would allow Congress to regulate: 1) all corporate expenditures, 2) corporate expenditures to candidates, or 3) all political expenditures including donations to 501(c)(4)s, lobbying activity, direct ad purchasing? #1 would be drastic though unsurprising; #2 would be status quo; #3 would be drastic though consistent with the current evolved interpretation of the commerce and elastic clauses. it seems curious that anyone in 2012 would think that Congress needs an Amendment to assume this regulatory power?
Posted by markmwhite on Feb 24, 2012 at 6:04 PM
The author is being pretty blatant here about wanting a law that says, “Corporations I like maintain their rights, but corporations I don’t like will have them stripped away”. There is no principle in this position.
Either one believes that corporations have rights, or one believes that they do not. If one believes that they do not, then go ahead and give the government the power to censor all corporate output, including the media and all publishing by corporations. If one believes that they do, then Citizens United was correctly decided.
In any case, this discussion is moot. The issue today is that individuals are now spending huge amounts of money to influence elections. Which is useful, because now the mask has come off. The anti-Citizens United writers never cared about whether corporations were people or not. They don’t believe people have the right to influence elections either by spending lots of money. Unless you’re Rush Limbaugh or Rachel Maddow.
Posted by Adam Herman on Feb 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM
So let me see if I have this right—-organizations that support left-of-center politicians (and then negotiate economic terms directly with many of those same politicians, like, for instance, unions) have the right to free speech, but other organizations with either no political affiliation or a right-of-center agenda, regardless of profit motive, are not entitled to the same right? And all this is Constitutionally sound?
Yea, that seems like a thoughtful, fair approach to this issue. Good luck with that. Free advice: anytime Bernie Sanders proposes something, stay away from it. Otherwise you may end up appearing like an uninformed, uneducated, politically-biased fool (to put it kindly).
Posted by Chris Jackson on Feb 25, 2012 at 3:10 AM
The hilarious thing about the Sanders amendment is that it’s self-repealing. It says that corporations do not have 1st amendment rights except for freedom of the press. Since he’s not too bright, he thinks that means “the media”. But it does not. It means freedom to publish. If corporations have freedom to publish, then they have freedom to publish ads advocating the election or defeat of a candidate.
Posted by Adam Herman on Feb 25, 2012 at 4:33 AM
The Citizens United decision is one of the best developments in politics and the democratic process in a long time. The key point , which most people seem to miss, is that now (as we have seen in the Republican primaries) money is taken out of the equation. Less well known candidates have a chance to stay in the campaigns longer and get their messages across to voters. If this were pre- Citizens United, both Gingrich and Santorum would have been gone long ago for lack of money - only Rick Perry would have had the money to stay in the race with Romney, so the race would effectively be over by this point rather than everyone debating if Romney is still electable. We have not seen it on the Democratic side, obviously, as Obama is running unopposed. However, wait until 2016 - you will see people like George Soros backing less known Democrats with more candidates remaining in the primary process longer with the opportunity for voters to better vet potential candidates. You will also start to see this with cogressional candidates this fall. I predict that by 2016 any opposition to Citiizens United will go away as left wingers begin to realize that their guys (ie, Soros) can support candidates just as well as the right can.
Posted by Bruce Paone on Feb 25, 2012 at 7:47 AM
That’s hilarious about the Sanders amendment. I just read about it for the first time. Just the notion that Bernie Sanders could ever be successful in spearheading an amendment to the constitution makes me laugh. I can’t believe he’s running for re-election (not that bringing in someone new would make any difference in VT). He must have the easiest job in the world.
Also, agree with Bruce’s post—-think liberals are drawing conclusions about this far too soon. And if the article above is any indication of the substance of their argument, they may want to back off a bit and let things settle in for a few years.
Posted by Chris Jackson on Feb 25, 2012 at 5:52 PM
For the 99%, this ruling establishes a level playing field - on the level of allowing middle-class workers the opportunity to play ‘no-limits’ poker with Bill Gates!Seriously, if corporations are now considered tiop be people in the political venue, doews this mean that they can now run for office. I discern a clever plot to cut overhead by eliminating traditional politicians (middle-men).
Posted by Bruce Erwin Saunders on Mar 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM