Constitutional amendment To Nullify Citizen United v. FEC

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BULLETIN: With 3/5 required, the Senate rejected a motion for cloture on Senate Joint Resolution 19 with 54 yea votes and 42 nays, 4 not voting, on Sept. 12…Had the motion passed, the matter would have been closed for debate and brought immediately to the floor for a yes or no vote.  The vote split along party lines with Democratic Senators in support, Republicans in opposition. 


Citizen United v. F.E.C. Is a landmark high court decision handed down in 2010 that granted First Amendment rights to corporations and political action committees to buy and pay for political advertisements, granting those legal entities the same right to political speech as individuals. Backers of the litigation included such deep pockets conservative luminaries as the Koch Brothers, funders of many astroturf Tea Party conservative causes. These Senators seek to nullify that right through this constitutional amendment, which if it passes both houses by a super majority of three-quarters, will be sent to be ratified by at least three-fourths of the 50 states.

 Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is the author of the amendment, which was backed by petition signatures of more than two million voters. He stated that the proposed amendment is about “restoring the First Amendment so it applies equally to all Americans.” He went on to say that “our access to constitutional rights and our ability to participate in the democratic process should not be based on our net worth.”

Mr. UDALL of New Mexico (for himself, Mr. BENNET, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. SCHUMER, Mrs. SHAHEEN, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. TESTER, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. COONS, Mr. KING, Mr. MURPHY, Mr. WYDEN, Mr. FRANKEN, Ms. KLOBUCHAR, Mr. UDALL of Colorado, Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. REED, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. HEINRICH, Mr. MERKLEY, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. BEGICH, Mr. CARDIN, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, Mrs. HAGAN, Ms. MIKULSKI, Ms. BALDWIN, Mr. MARKEY, Ms. WARREN, Mr. BROWN, Mr. WALSH, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. REID, Ms. HIRONO, Mr. CARPER, Mrs. MURRAY, Mr. SCHATZ, Mr. SANDERS, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, Ms. STABENOW, Mr. BOOKER, Ms. HEITKAMP, Mr. MANCHIN, Mrs. MCCASKILL, Ms. CANTWELL, and Mr. NELSON) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

Section 1 – To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congres and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.

Section 2 – Congress and the State shall have power to implement and enforce this article by apprpriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections.

Section 3 – Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.”

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