People For the American Way

Democratic Platform Open to a Constitutional Amendment

As Democrats are meeting in Charlotte for their national convention, they will adopt a platform that recognizes the need to free our democracy from the grip of wealthy special interests. The platform supports the ongoing conversation on constitutional remedies to Citizens United. The plank states in relevant part:

Our political system is under assault by those who believe that special interests should be able to buy whatever they want in our society, including our government. Our opponents have applauded the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and welcomed the new flow of special interest money with open arms. In stark contrast, we believe we must take immediate action to curb the influence of lobbyists and special interests on our political institutions.

… We support campaign finance reform, by constitutional amendment if necessary. We support legislation to close loopholes and require greater disclosure of campaign spending. … We support requiring groups trying to influence elections to reveal their donors so the public will know who’s funding the political ads it sees.

Of course, strong campaign finance reform is completely consistent with the Constitution, as understood by the founders and by the Supreme Court, until George W. Bush cemented a hard-right, pro-corporate majority on the nation’s highest Court. It was the 2010 Citizens United decision that misinterpreted the First Amendment, undermined a century of campaign finance law, and let powerful corporations spend unlimited funds to affect our elections. That is why corporate interests have been cheering the decision and pouring money into getting Mitt Romney elected – because they know anyone he nominates to the Supreme Court would seek to extend rather than reverse Citizens United.

The Democratic platform seeks to restore our democracy to the people, by and for whom it was created. A constitutional amendment will do just that.


campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Citizens United v. FEC, Democratic National Convention, Romney Court