Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced a constitutional amendment to the U.S. House on Thursday that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.
The court held that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as people and that money was a form of speech.
“Because of the decision by the Supreme Court majority in the Citizens United case, more money was spent on campaigns in the 2010 election than has ever been spent in a mid-term election,” Kucinich said. “Because of the Citizens United case, more money will be spent in the 2012 elections than has ever been spent in an election in the history of our country. Because of the Citizens United case, American democracy has been put up on the auction block.”
A number of other Members of Congress, including Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have proposed constitutional amendments to overturn the Citizens United ruling. Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Michael Bennet of (D-CO) have also introduced less ambitious constitutional amendment that would give Congress and the states the authority to regulate the campaign finance system.
Kucinich’s proposed amendment would completely bar interest groups from influencing elections by requiring that all federal campaigns be financed exclusively with public funds and prohibit any expenditures from any other source.
“We must rescue American democracy from unlimited corporate money,” Kucinich added. “This is the most fundamental issue facing the future of our nation. With corporate, private financing we have officials working for the interest of corporations. With public financing we have officials working for the public. And public financing will actually save taxpayers’ money, by eliminating any incentive of public officials to reward campaign contributors with taxpayer subsidies.”