Sen. Chris Dodd introduced a proposed constitutional amendment to effectively nullify the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, but the odds for passing any constitutional amendment are not great.
Not since 1992 has the Constitution been amended, according to a Hartford Courant article. It takes a two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress, and ratification by three-fourths of the states, to amend the Constitution.
“I am a firm believer in the sanctity of the First Amendment, and I believe we must continue to do all we can to protect the free speech rights of the American people. But I strongly disagree with the Supreme Court’s conclusion that money is speech, and that corporations should be treated the same as individual Americans when it comes to protected, fundamental speech rights,” Dodd said in a statement.
The text of the Connecticut Democrat’s proposed amendment is available here. He proposes giving Congress authority to regulate campaign fundraising and expenditures for U.S. elections, including independent expenditures, and letting states regulate the activity in state elections.
You can learn more from Gavel Grab about a constitutional amendment introduced earlier in the House. Citizens United allows corporations to spend unlimited sums from their treasuries to support or oppose federal candidates. More than a month after the decision was issued, activists and analysts still are analyzing what it will mean; one of the latest panel critiques is discussed in The Blog of Legal Times.
You can read more about Citizens United by clicking here, and you can read Justice at Stake’s amicus brief in the case here.