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Senate Dems to attempt to reverse Citizens United

Democrats announced a plan to push for a constitutional amendment to undo changes to campaign finance rules wrought by the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling.
By Gabrielle Levy Follow @gabbilevy Contact the Author   |   April 30, 2014 at 6:16 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- After complaining for four years about changes to campaign finance allowed by the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, Democrats are finally doing something about it.

Rules Committee Chair Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Wednesday that Democrats would schedule a Senate vote for this year on an amendment, sponsored by New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall. The amendment would overturn Citizens United and another recent decision that classified campaign spending as speech protected under the First Amendment and opened the door to corporation- and union-run SuperPACs that flooded the country with political advertisements.

"The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections. That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now,” Schumer said. "The First Amendment is sacred, but the First Amendment is not absolute. By making it absolute, you make it less sacred to most Americans. We have to bring some balance to our political system."

The proposed amendment would give power back to Congress to pass legislation that limits how much individuals can spend on campaigns, which were struck back earlier this month in the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, and who is allowed to spend it.

While the amendment has 35 co-sponsors, it is unlikely to become part of the Constitution anytime soon because the changes that came with both Supreme Court rulings are relatively popular among Republicans. Amendments to the Constitution must be passed by two-thirds of both the House and Senate or ratified by three-quarters of the states.

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