Maine on Tuesday joined twelve other states that have called on Congress to overturn the controversial Citizens United ruling, which unleashed an unprecedented level of political spending.
“United States Supreme Court rulings, beginning with Buckley v. Valeo and continuing through Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and others, disproportionately elevate the role of wealthy special interests in elections and diminish the voices and influence of ordinary Americans,” a symbolic resolution approved by the Maine legislature said.
The resolution was approved by a 25-9 vote in the state’s Senate and a 111-31 vote in the state’s House.
The resolution calls on Congress to approve an amendment to the U.S. Constitution “that would reaffirm the power of citizens through their government to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections.”
The 2010 ruling struck down key campaign finance laws, giving rise to so-called Super PACs that can raise and spend unlimited sums of money to influence federal elections.
There are currently two proposed amendments in Congress that would reverse the decision. One, proposed by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), would allow the federal government to impose “reasonable content-neutral limitations” on independent political contributions and spending. The second more ambitious amendment, proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), would completely bar for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations and unions from spending money in federal elections.
West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico and Hawaii have also called for the ruling to be overturned.
[A man blinded by money via Shutterstock]