My colleague and friend John Nichols’ new post appropriately lauds Rep. Donna Edwards’ proposed legislation to redress the damage done by the Supreme Court in its decision in the case of Citizens United v. FEC to abandon long-standing precedent with the purpose of permitting corporations to dominate the political discourse.
As The Nation editorialized recently: "The clearest and boldest counter to the Court’s ruling is a constitutional amendment stating unequivocally that corporations are not people and do not have the right to buy elections."
The first article of Edwards’ proposed bill says it all:"The sovereign right of the people to govern being essential to a free democracy, Congress and the States may regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity."
This video featuring Edwards and constitutional law professor Jamie Raskin calling for a mass movement to support a constitutional amendment makes clear why the stakes are so high.
Fortunately, the Maryland Congresswoman does not stand alone. In addition to an array of public interest groups including Public Citizen, Voter Action, The Center for Corporate Policy and the American Independent Business Alliance, the congresswoman’s amendment is supported by House Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers, the dean of civil libertarians in Congress.
There are a range of ways concerned citizens can get involved. Passing a constitutional amendment is a long-term project that requires major grassroots organizing before it can succeed. You can help the campaign reach its goal by spreading the word. Find some suggestions for ways to get started at FreeSpeechforPeople.org, including signing on to Edwards’ resolution.
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