Category Archives: Constitutional Amendment

Jimmy Carter on ‘Citizens United’

Jimmy Carter calls it ‘unlimited political bribery’

Former President Jimmy Carter waves to the congregation after teaching Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, on April 28, 2019. | Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Email  from Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen, 2/23/23

As Jimmy Carter enters hospice care at his home in Georgia, I’ve been looking back to some of what the former president has said about Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

That’s the infamous 2010 Supreme Court ruling that has allowed billionaires and Big Business to spend literally as much as they want distorting our elections and sabotaging our democracy.

Here is some of what President Carter has said about Citizens United over the years:

  • Citizens United is an “erroneous ruling” and “the most stupid decision the Supreme Court ever made.”
  • Citizens United has turned America into an “oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.”
  • Citizens United “violates the essence” of our democracy and represents “the biggest change in America” since he was elected in 1976.
  • Citizens United has left everyday Americans “cheated out of” the chance to make their lives better.
  • Citizens United has led to “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.”

Public Citizen called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United within moments of the decision being handed down on January 21, 2010.

And we’ve been a leader of that movement ever since — with a remarkable 22 states, along with over 800 cities and towns, passing resolutions or ballot initiatives in support of an amendment.

Former President Jimmy Carter is right — Citizens United is destroying our democracy and must be overturned.

Add your name if you agree with former President Jimmy Carter that Citizens United was wrong and must be overturned.

Take action today even if you’ve signed petitions before in support of overturning Citizens United — there’s no such thing as doing too much to protect our democracy!

Click to add your name now.

Thanks for taking action.

For democracy,

– Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen

Schiff introduces constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, 05/08/19 11:58 AM EDT
[See also Shiff’s press release]
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, which eliminated restrictions on corporate campaign spending.

The amendment would allow Congress and states to put limits on campaign contributions, according to a statement from Schiff’s office.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United overturned decades of legal precedent and has enabled billions in dark money to pour into our elections,” Schiff said in a statement.

The amendment would also allow states to enact laws creating public financing of campaigns.

“Amending the Constitution is an extraordinary step, but it is the only way to safeguard our democratic process against the threat of unrestrained and anonymous spending by wealthy individuals and corporations,” he added. “This amendment will restore power to everyday citizens.”

Schiff also announced the amendment on Twitter.

“Our democracy is not for sale,” he wrote. “We must stop the flood of dark money from drowning out the voices of everyday citizens.”

The 5-4 Citizens United ruling prohibited the government from limiting spending by companies, nonprofit organizations and unions on political campaign advertisements. The majority argued that such provisions would inhibit freedom of speech.