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Senate panel to examine overturning Citizens United ruling in July



The Senate Constitution Subcommittee will hold a hearing on constitutional amendments aimed at overturning the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision on July 17, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced on Thursday.

“The devastating effects of the Court’s divisive decision in Citizens United are already being felt in states and communities across the country,” said Leahy. “Since the decision was handed down, Democrats in Congress have been working to protect the voices of millions of American voters. Regrettably, we have not seen the bipartisan cooperation needed in Congress to move forward with even debating these proposals. This hearing will explore and evaluate a number of constitutional amendment proposals that have been introduced.”

The ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that limiting corporate campaign spending violated the First Amendment, because political contributions were a form of political speech and corporations were legally persons.

“Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy — it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people — political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence,” Justice Kennedy wrote.

Citizens United struck down key provisions of the federal McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law and gave rise to Super PACS, which can raise an unlimited amount of money to influence federal elections as long as they do not directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign. The ruling allowed campaign spending by outside groups to skyrocket.

More than 200 local government resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment have passed nationwide and another 80 resolution efforts are under way, according to the group Public Citizen. More than 100 members of Congress have backed a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling as well.


“Amending the Constitution is a step that should not be taken lightly, and the process is laborious and lengthy,” Leahy said.

A number of constitutional amendments have been introduced to Congress this year that target the controversial ruling, but they have little chance of succeeding.

After first being considered by the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee panel, the amendments would need to be approved by a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate. However, the proposed amendments have almost no support from Republicans.

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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race



Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)



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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits



President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’



Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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