In response to today's Supreme Court ruling, which overturned over one hundred years of established law limiting the impact of corporations on elections, People For the American Way called for a constitutional amendment, in addition to legislative remedies, to restore Congress's ability to regulate corporate influence on elections.
People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
"At its most fundamental level, our Constitution creates a democratic system designed to engage citizens in the act of self-governance. Absolutely central to that system is the ability of ordinary Americans to choose representatives who are responsible only to the rule of law and to our nation's citizens.
"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court strikes at the core of our democracy. The framers could never have imagined, and surely didn't desire, a system in which corporations could pour literally billions of dollars into elections and hold virtually limitless influence over the fate of our elected representatives. Such a system does not promote free speech; it mocks it.
"As Justice Stevens pointed out in his dissent, corporations are not people. They are not citizens. They do not have a right to vote and they can not be given unlimited power to influence elections.
"The Supreme Court's ruling today was deeply flawed. Instead of respecting decades of established precedent, the Court thumbed its nose at the principle of stare decisis and at the considered judgment of our elected representatives. Constitutional amendments are warranted in only the most extreme circumstances. This is one of them.
"People For the American Way has been at the forefront of defense of free speech and the First Amendment for almost 30 years. We continue in that role today. As Justice Stevens said in his dissent, 'The Court's blinkered and aphoristic approach to the First Amendment may well promote corporate power at the cost of the individual and collective self-expression the Amendment was meant to serve.rsquo;
People For the American Way is collecting signatures on a petition calling on Congress to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling.
- You can sign the petition to amend the Constitution here.