In testimony before the Senate Rules Committee, Senator John Kerry today announced his support for a constitutional amendment in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.
We face two challenges: first, to mediate the impact of the Court’s decision and stop the bleeding through immediate countermeasures and, second, to think boldly about the best way to free our democracy from the dominance of big money.
Mr. Chairman, the reform ideas already circulating are promising – mandating shareholder approval of spending, prohibiting spending by domestic subsidiaries of foreign corporations and government contractors, giving candidates primetime access to the public airwaves at the lowest rates.
We must do those things quickly. But we may also need to think bigger. I think we need a constitutional amendment to make it clear once and for all that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals.
Amending the Constitution is a serious endeavor and some of the sharpest minds in the country are working together right now to construct language for an amendment that would solve the problem and get to the heart of the issue. I’m ready to work with them and with the activists it will take to get an amendment ratified.
Mr. Chairman, there is no bigger step to achieve big change than a constitutional amendment. But big issues of fairness and justice sometimes demand nothing less.
Justice Alito, who had snuck into the hearing room and was seated in the back row, was seen vigorously shaking his head and muttering “curses, foiled again!”
Relatedly, a new national poll has found that large majorities of Democrats (66%), independents (72%), and Republicans (63%) don’t like the result in Citizens United.