This week three opinion editorials were published in local papers in New Hampshire, New York and West Virginia calling for a 28th amendment to the Constitution to overturn Supreme Court cases like Citizens United. These op-eds are the latest in a stream of media coverage highlighting the growing movement to rescue our democracy from the dominating influence of big money in politics.
In an opinion editorial by Democratic State Sen. Martha Fuller Clark and Republican Rep. Robert Elliot, the New Hampshire state legislators make the case for a resolution currently being considered that supports a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics. On January 29th, citizens testified at a hearing on the resolution, attracting more than 50 activists (both Democrats and Republicans) who spoke in favor of the proposed legislation. Sixteen states have already passed resolutions supporting an amendment, in addition to more than 600 towns and cities across the country.
The editorial board of the Times Union of New York also published a piece making the case for a state resolution supporting an amendment. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, they argue, our democracy is threatened by the fact that a tiny fraction of the richest Americans are able to buy outsized influence in the electoral process. The fact that so few contribute so much of the money spent in elections is antithetical to a representative democracy, as politicians are incentivized to be more responsive to donors than voters.
And in West Virginia the Fayette Tribune published an op-ed making the case for an amendment in the context of protecting majority rule. The author argues that the influence of big money in politics skews the ratio of “one person one vote,” a fundamental tenant of democracy. Because of Supreme Court cases like Citizens United, passing a constitutional amendment is necessary in order to level the political playing field and foster a democracy that is truly of, by and for the people.