Dec 092011

I trust that most of you will agree that Citizens United is the worst Supreme Court Amendment since Dred Scott.  Several bills are circulating in Congress to mitigate the damage done by this unconstitutional decision, but even if they pass, there is nothing to stop the five Republican Injustices from overturning them.  Long term, we need a Constitutional amendment to undo the damage.  Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced that amendment.

9CorpFlagWarning that “American democracy in endangered,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections. The first constitutional amendment ever proposed by Sanders during his two decades in Congress would reverse the narrow 5-to-4 ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission. In that controversial decision almost two years ago, justices gave corporations the same First Amendment free-speech rights as people.

“There comes a time when an issue is so important that the only way to address it is by a constitutional amendment,” Sanders said of the effort to override the court decision that he labeled “a complete undermining of democracy.” 

Sanders’ Saving American Democracy Amendment would make clear that corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as people and that corporations may be regulated by Congress and state legislatures. It also would preserve the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press. It would incorporate a century-old ban on corporate campaign donations to candidates, and establish broad authority for Congress and states to regulate spending in elections… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

Here is Bernie introducing it on the Senate floor.

I fully support this amendment and urge you to do so too.


  17 Responses to “The Saving American Democracy Amendment”

  1. This was a “sleeper” in the News!!! Where were our corporate owned media to cover this? You’ll make me a theist yet TomC – God Bless Bernie – the most sane amendment yet proposed – I wonder if it could replace the 2nd – probably has as much chance with our fascist republican party and the super duper court committee (oh, I guess they call it the supreme hoo haa court) what a laugh! That part of the government placed as a means of checks and balances is a joke! Time to get rid of that branch altogether, IMHO – This is the first I heard of Bernie’s amendment – but as I say – I don’t think it stands a chance, of course I’ll call my Senators about it – but honestly in this country? What good will that do? He was right – the decision to give corporate America “personhood” was the one that offered the US an opportunity to become fully fascist – and the corporate right wing-nuts have been going right after it – with most of the dumb citizens’ blessings I might add!

  2. I  received an email from Bernie Sanders yesterday about this. Go to his website and sign the petition in support of his Amendment please.


    • Thanks for the link Patty.  I signed  (I have my ways) because I believe that this is something that is a cancer and must be cut out otherwise it will spread to other countries,  I can easily see Canada’s PM Harper trying something along the Citizen’s United line and that would really suck!  He’s already trying to be like Baby Bush.

    • Wonderful!  Thank you Patty!

  3. While I wholeheartedly support the sentiment, I think this particular amendment, as drafted, is so overly broad that it could be interpreted as banning editorials.

    While it tries to protect freedom of the press in section 2, it turns right around in section 3 with language that could very easily be read as banning newspapers (and more) from publishing editorials. 

    But it’s a start in the right direction of ridding us of Citizens United – definitely the worst ruling in at least my 63 years on earth.

  4. I support Bernie Sanders’ effort on this 100%! A very wise person once said, “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one!” Remind me to piss on the graves of Roger B. Taney and John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas (when they die)  if I am ever to be in their vicinities…Still, the fact that Dred Scott WAS eventually turned aside should give us hope that this current piss-poor SCOTUS decision will be nullified as well.

  5. Anyone with a lick of good sense knew instantly what was  going to happen when that decision came down–  The fight to overturn it should have started then– but  now that people have woke up to the damage being done– I think we need to do what we can to support  The Constitutional Amendment which would restore sanity   —

    • I agree, Phyllis.  At the time it came down, many of us were in shock, myself included.  The issue they decided was not even before them.

  6. From the article — Warning that “American democracy in endangered,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed a constitutional amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that allowed unrestricted and secret campaign spending by corporations on U.S. elections.

    “American democracy is endangered” is an understatement.  I would say it is closing in on extinction unless federal and state legislators and ordinary Americans stand up and be counted as supporting Bernie Sanders’ constitutional amendment.  Corporations are not people, they are constructs by people to facilitate business.  Corporations are not sentient beings — they do not think, they do not hear, they do not see, they do not love, they do not act independently.  Corporations are controlled by people, but not all of the people.  By allowing a corporation personhood, the law is essentially, in my non legal mind, allowing the persons who control the corporation to have more than one vote.  Not literally more than one vote, but with the ability to substantially influence the vote with extremes of cash donations and advertising, or just plain vote buying.  Democracy is one person, one vote.  SCOTUS, in rendering the Citizens United decision as they did, has given some citizens the ability to have more than one vote.  That is not democracy.   

    Go Bernie!

    Additionally, this, if not fixed will infect other countries and give rise to a lot of dissent.  It is like a canceer that must be cut out.

  7. It isn’t speech. What they’ve done is to legalize bribery. No individual ever had that right.

  8. We must never forget that although the United States Supreme Court is the final arbiter in interpreting and applying the Constitution, the Supreme Court has sometimes been responsible for the most horrendous decisions in the history of this country, even supporting slavery  as in the Dred Scott Decision at a time when blacks were being hung from trees, as well as installing a President of the United States who, provably and literally stole the election. And now we have Citizens United, with the clear potential to turn this into a truly fascist state, where government and corporations are one. We also have the” Imposter Justice ” Clarence Thomas whose fifth and deciding vote created this obscene ruling. And if the Supreme Court is flawed, as it quite obviously is, then it is ultimately We The People who are the final arbiters because if we can’t change the Supreme Court’s lifetimes appointments, we can and must  change the Constitution. And I agree with Bernie’s implication that we really need to do it this way because adding any new legislation would be either impossible in this politically poisoned climate, or loopholes would be found to circumvent them even if they were passed. Thanks, TomCat.

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