This week, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) resuscitated an old Democratic Party political enemy: The First Amendment-affirming 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In Citizens United, the Court held that the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment generally prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by corporations, labor unions, and other similarly situated associations. The relevant statute, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, had prohibited any corporation from making an “electioneering communication” within 30 days of a primary election or within 60 days of a general election. The Citizens United decision, although well-grounded in the original understanding of the political speech-centric Free Speech Clause, has consistently been lambasted by the Left ever since it was handed down. Many on the Left criticize the “dark money” from corporations that the decision has allegedly allowed to flow out in the open.
Now, Schiff wants to bring back an effort to overturn the decision via constitutional amendment. CNN reports:
Rep. Adam Schiff on Wednesday introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which helped usher in a new era of big money in American elections.
“Our democracy is not for sale. We must stop the flood of dark money from drowning out the voices of everyday citizens,” the California Democrat said in a statement on Twitter. He said such an amendment would “restore power to the American people.”
By a 5-4 ruling, the high court in 2010 swept aside a ban on independent spending by corporations and unions in candidate elections, saying the restrictions amounted to censorship. Outside spending in federal elections has soared from $338 million in 2008, the last presidential election before the ruling, to $1.4 billion in 2016, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
(Read more from “Dems Going After Major First Amendment SCOTUS Decision” HERE)