Matthew Rothschild, editor of the Progressive Magazine, provides an insightful overview of the growing movement to amend the Constitution in response to increased in corporate influence in U.S. elections following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
Rothschild calls on progressives to “put our Susan B. Anthony hats on and get to work” restoring American democracy to the people.
In addition to legislative reforms favored by Public Citizen, such as the Shareholder Protection Act and the Fair Elections Now Act, Rothschild highlights Public Citizen’s work to restore democracy to real people:
There’s another approach, floated by Ralph Nader and by Robert Weissman, the new president of Public Citizen. While they support legislative efforts, they say the President could issue an executive order refusing to “contract with or provide subsidies, handouts, and bailouts to any company that spends money directly in the electoral arena.”
But the Supreme Court could invalidate such an order, as well.
Nader and Weissman also recommend that shareholders pass resolutions requiring their corporations to receive majority permission before spending money on elections.
Ultimately, however, Nader and Weissman favor amending the Constitution. “In the absence of a future court overturning Citizens United,” they wrote in The Wall Street Journal on February 10, “the fundamental response should be a constitutional amendment. We must exclude all commercial corporations and other artificial commercial entities from participating in political activities. Such constitutional rights should be reserved for real people.”