Fair and Just Courts

Hodes Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United

Rep. Paul Hodes introduced today a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the Supreme Court's disastrous decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

SCOTUS Pick Should Serve 'Everyday People'

PFAW's Marge Baker says that the SCOTUS nominee should serve "Everyday People."

Snapshot of Important Stevens Cases

A sampling of important and historic Supreme Court cases that are frequently associated with Justice John Paul Stevens.

Justice Stevens to Retire from the Supreme Court

Today Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the term, giving President Obama his second opportunity to nominate a jurist for our nation’s Highest Court

Dawn Johnsen Nomination Withdrawn

Dawn Johnsen, President Obama’s pick to lead the Office of Legal Counsel withdrew her nomination for the position, demonstrating the effects of reckless obstruction by the GOP.

People For the American Way Voters Alliance Endorses Ted Deutch for Congress

People For the American Way today announced that its federal PAC has endorsed State Senator Ted Deutch's campaign for the United States House of Representatives.

Broad Based Support for Dawn Johnsen

Anyone who has listened to GOP Senators labeling Dawn Johnsenas a "controversial" nominee could be excused for assuming that her support has been limited to the liberal extreme of the legal community. But the facts tell a different story.

Quotes by Members of Congress on Citizens United

Members of Congress express concern over the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, including support for a constitutional amendment to correct the Court



Senator Mark Begich (D-AK-Junior). 1/21/1010. Office of Senator Begich.

Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on campaign financing is a shameful step backward toward big money special interests exercising too much influence over American political campaigns.




Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-14). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Eshoo.

With this decision, the Supreme Court has thumbed its nose at precedent, at the Congress, and most importantly the will of the people. This is an enormous step in the wrong direction.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-08). 1/21/2010. Office of Speaker Pelosi.

The Supreme Court’s decision represents a step backward for the American people and our nation’s political process.




Senator Michael F. Bennet (D-CO-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Bennet.

Allowing corporate influence to flow unfettered into federal campaigns will only undermine the confidence the American people have in their government, and serve only to stack the deck further in favor of special interests at the expense of hardworking Americans.




Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT-Senior). 2/24/2010. Office of Senator Dodd.

Ultimately, we must cut through the underbrush and go directly to the heart of the problem, and that is why I am proposing this constitutional amendment: because constitutional questions need constitutional answers.

Senator Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT-Senior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Dodd.

I intend to pursue every legislative option - including a constitutional amendment to allow Congress and the states to put appropriate limits on campaign spending - to restore the trust and voice of the American people.

Representative Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT-03). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative DeLauro.

With this ill-advised spate of judicial activism, five Supreme Court justices have struck down the distinction between individuals and corporations in election law and opened the floodgates to a hostile corporate takeover of our democratic process.

Representative John B. Larson (D-CT-01). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Larson.

At a time when the American people are disgusted by the amount of money in political system, the Supreme Court decision today will remove the remaining safeguards that have given the American people a fair voice in government.




Senator Edward E. Kaufman (D-DE-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Kaufman.

Despite nearly 100 years of statutes and precedent that establish the authority of Congress to limit the corrupting influence of corporate money in federal elections, the Court today ruled that corporations are absolutely free to spend shareholder money with the intent to promote the election or defeat of a candidate for political office

Representative Michael N. Castle (R-DE-At-Large). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Castle.

As a strong supporter of campaign finance restrictions, I am deeply concerned by today's Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC, which will allow unprecedented corporate influence in our elections.




Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL-08). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Grayson.

The Supreme Court in essence has ruled that corporations can buy elections. If that happens, democracy in America is over.




Representative Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI-02). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Hirono.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling is yet another nod to the wealthy corporate interests in this country. This ruling now allows big corporations to spend large amounts of money to influence elections far beyond the ability of individual Americans. The free market free-for-all announced by these justices makes me wonder, ‘What’s next?’ If today’s ruling isn’t legislating from the bench, I don’t know what is.




Representative Leonard L. Boswell (D-IA-03). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Boswell.

I have introduced this important [constitutional amendment] today because the Supreme Court’s ruling strikes at the very core of democracy in the United States by inflating the speech rights of large, faceless corporations to the same level of hard-working, every day Americans.




Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL-Senior). 1/24/2010. Roll Call.

I can’t wait to see my Republican friends who preached against judicial activism explain this decision . . . [which] allows political extortionism.

Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL-Senior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Durbin.

Today’s decision by Supreme Court is a triumph for special interest and judicial activism at its worst. Overturning the ban on corporate spending on political campaigns opens the floodgates for the corrupting influence and the dominant hand of special interest groups




Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN-Junior). 2/21/2010. Firedoglake.

I can easily imagine vulnerable members approaching a corporation or union for support and being told: "We’d love to support you, but we have a rule. We only support candidates who are with us at least 90 percent of the time. Here is our questionnaire with our top 10 concerns. Fill it out." Millions of campaign dollars now ride on the member’s response. The cause of good government is not served.




Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA-Senior). 2/2/2010. Office of Senator Kerry.

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.

Representative Michael E. Capuano (D-MA-08). 1/28/2010. Office of Representative Capuano.

We should be moving in the exact opposite direction - limiting outside influence in our democratic elections process, not giving corporations an unrestricted and disproportionate voice.




Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Cardin.

By effectively legislating in areas that Congress has set reasonable guidelines, the Supreme Court is swinging the door wide open for special interests and corporate America to have an even greater influence over our political system.

Representative Donna F. Edwards (D-MD-04). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Edwards.

As a long-time advocate for campaign finance reform, today’s ruling by the United States' Supreme Court is a devastating step backward in the effort to prevent excessive corporate influence on elections.

Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-08). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Van Hollen.

This is a very, very sad day for American democracy and this is a very radical, radical decision that came out of the Supreme Court of the United States - a court that said they respected precedent




Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME-Senior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Snowe.

The effects of the decision will be to undermine existing law, flood the airwaves with corporate and union advertisements, and undercut landmark reforms that I and many others fought to secure to put elections back in the hands of the American people. In short, today’s decision was a serious disservice to our country.




Representative John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-14). 1/22/2010. Office of Representative Grayson.

I am looking into any and all avenues to alleviate the harm to the American people that the Supreme Court has done with yesterday's decision.




Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ-Junior). 1/24/2010. Roll Call.

[Today is] a dark day for democracy and a dark day for average citizens.

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ-Junior). 1/24/2010. Roll Call.

If Republicans want to stand with big-monied interests, with-big business interests, versus the average citizen, to try to influence elections, that’s fine with me.




Senator Tom Udall (D-NM-Junior). 2/24/2010. Office of Senator Udall (Tom).

We have long needed substantive campaign finance reform and I am proud to join Senator Dodd in this effort to amend our Constitution and help put our elections back in the hands of average Americans.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM-Junior). 2/2/2010. CQ Congressional Record.

The best long-term solution is a constitutional amendment that would prevent the Court from overturning sensible campaign finance regulations.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM-Junior). 2/2/2010. CQ.

[The court’s decision was] a victory for special interests at the expense of the average American.

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Udall (Tom).

Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for special interests at the expense of the average American.




Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY-Senior). 2/11/2010. Roll Call.

“It’s hard to see how Republicans can be against disclosures, disclaimers and [support] foreign influence on our electoral process,” Schumer said. “We expect there will be Republican support.”

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY-Senior). 2/2/2010. CQ.

[The ruling] has the potential to be disastrous to our democracy.

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY-Senior). 1/21/2010. Roll Call.

Now robber barons can act like parasites striking at our very roots.

Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-08). 2/3/2010. CQ Congressional Transcripts.

It is a case which poses a great threat to the integrity of our democratic system.



Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH-Junior). 2/4/2010. Office of Senator Brown (Sherrod).

Our government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH-10). 1/21/2010. Office of Representative Kucinich.

Today’s decision will allow corporations to spend unlimited funds in support of political candidates. It will increase the stranglehold corporations now have over politics. There is no more effective way to concentrate even more money and power in the hands of the wealthy




Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA-Senior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Specter.

Pending close study of the opinion of the Court, it appears that the only way to solve the problem created by the Court's decision today is through the Constitutional amendment process.

Representative Robert A. Brady (D-PA-01). 2/18/2010. Committee on House Administration.

With the stroke of a pen, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court undermined the ability of everyday Americans to impact the course of American elections. While certain Congressional elements applaud the equivalent of an E-Bay auction of the American election system to the highest bidder, eight out of 10 Americans polled opposed the court’s decision with 65% strongly opposed.




Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI-Junior). 1/29/2010. CQ Congressional Record.

[The] activist element of the Supreme Court struck down key protections of our elections integrity, overturned the will of Congress and the American people, and allowed all corporations to spend without limit in order to elect and defeat candidates and influence policy to meet their political ends. The consequences may well be nightmarish.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Whitehouse.

Today's disastrous decision is a long step towards government of the CEOs, by the CEOs, and for the CEOs.




Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT-Senior). 2/9/2010. CQ Congressional Record.

This divisive decision puts the special interests of big oil, banks and insurance companies ahead of the interests of the American people.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT-Senior). 1/28/2010. CQ Congressional Record.

I cannot remember a time in my 36 years in the Senate when I have come to this floor to criticize even decisions I disagree with, but this one I am because it goes to the very core of our democracy, and it will allow major corporations, which should have laws written to control their effect on America, to instead control America.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT-Senior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Leahy.

This ruling is no doubt yet another victory for Wall Street, at the expense of Main Street America. Our founding document begins, ‘We the People,’ and throughout its articles and amendments, the Constitution enshrines the power of our government in the people, not in corporations and powerful special interests.

Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Sanders.

The ruling will, to a significant degree, give control of the political process in the United States to the wealthiest and most powerful institutions in the world and the candidates who support their agenda. Instead of democracy being about one-person one-vote, it will now be about the size of a company’s bank account.

Representative Peter Welch (D-VT-At-Large). 3/2/2010. WPTZ.com.

Vermont Rep. Peter Welch talked about changes that he thinks are necessary in order to preserve the integrity of voting. "The power of that money is an intimidating effect that is going to compromise the political process and I think compromise folks' already fragile trust in the institution of these elections," said Welch. He also announced his support for a constitutional amendment that would give congress the power to regulate corporate contributions.




Senator Patty Murray (D-WA-Senior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Murray.

Today’s Supreme Court decision is a step backward for democracy. It is a mistake that ignores a century of legal precedent, critical reforms made by Congress, and most importantly, the role of individual citizens in the political process.




Senator Russell D. Feingold (D-WI-Junior). 2/24/2010. The Progessive.

Terrible decision. One of the most lawless decisions in the history of this country and of the Supreme Court. It throws open our political process to huge corporations including foreign money.

Senator Russell D. Feingold (D-WI-Junior). 1/21/2010. Office of Senator Feingold.

The American people will pay dearly for this decision when, more than ever, their voices are drowned out by corporate spending in our federal elections.

Senators Highlight Mistreatment of Obama Nominees

Democratic Senators took to the floor to express their outrage over the unprecedented obstruction of President Obama’s executive and judicial nominees.

Tell Congress: Amend the U.S. Constitution to ensure the government has the authority to limit corporate influence in elections

The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC threatens to tear apart the fabric of our democracy and grant powerful corporations unfettered influence in our political process. Sign PFAW's petition to tell Congressional leaders to amend the Constitution today.

Dawn Johnsen Approved by Judiciary Committee

In a party line vote today, President Obama's choice to head the Office of Legal Counsel was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the second time that Johnsen, who was first nominated more than a year ago, has been approved by the committee.

GOP Obstruction of Executive Branch Nominees

According to PFAW's review of records, GOP senators are blocking President Obama's Executive Branch nominees at a rate never seen before.

OPR Report Slams Bush Office of Legal Counsel

In a report released yesterday, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that the pro-torture legal opinions produced by President Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel were the result of faulty reasoning.

Dawn Johnsen Resource Center

Despite support from across the ideological spectrum, Dawn Johnsen's confirmation to head the Office of Legal Council has been met with unprecedented delays and obstruction by GOP Senators.

New Poll Shows Broad Support for "Fixing" Citizens United

Our new poll shows that the American public supports limiting corporate spending in elections through a range of proposals, including legislation and a constitutional amendment.

GOP Obstruction on Nominations Reaches New Low

According to media reports, Richard Shelby has placed a blanket “hold” on all executive branch nominations in an effort to secure federal spending in his state.

Justice Alito Has Some Things He'd Like to Say...

In the aftermath of Citizens United v. FEC, PFAW looks at the cases in which Justice Samuel Alito has also said "not true."

Reps. Conyers and Edwards Introduce Constitutional Amendment

Representatives John Conyers and Donna Edwards today introduced a proposal to amend the Constitution to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan said, "John Conyers and Donna Edwards should be applauded for their response to this decision."

PFAW Backs Ban on Foreign Electioneering in Wake of Citizens United

In response to the introduction of legislation by Senator Al Franken that would protect federal, state, and local elections from foreign influence, People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker said, "President Obama was exactly right when he raised the threat of undue foreign influence in US elections following the Supreme Court's irresponsible decision in Citizens United v. FEC."

Senate Republicans Continue Obstruction of Crucial Obama Nominees

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee today delayed a committee vote on several of President Obama’s judicial and executive branch nominees, including three Department of Justice nominees who he renominated after GOP Senators denied them an up or down vote last year.
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