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Democrats introduce constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United ruling

By Daniel Uria
Democrats introduce constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United ruling
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., introduced a constitutional amendment Tuesday seeking to place limits on campaign spending and overturn the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

July 30 (UPI) -- Senate Democrats introduced a constitutional amendment Tuesday to undo the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United and restrict corporate political donations.

A group of senators led by Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced the Democracy for All Amendment, which seeks to allow federal and state governments to set restrictions on fundraising and spending for elections.

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The amendment would essentially overturn the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC in 2010, which stated that political spending by corporations and other organizations is a type of speech that is protected under the First Amendment as long as the money isn't spent directly on campaigns.

Udall said the decision led to unlimited corporate spending and secret special interest spending that has "drowned out the voices of the American people."

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"It's time to restore the power of the American people to regulate the out-of-control, secret spending in our elections and make sure that our elections aren't put up for sale to the highest bidder," he added.

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Overturning Citizens United is "probably more important than any other single thing we could do to preserve this great and grand democracy," Schumer said during a rally in front of the Supreme Court unveiling the legislation.

"Few decisions in the 200 and some odd years of this republic have threatened our democracy like Citizens United. People say they want to get rid of the swamp. Citizens United is the embodiment of the swamp," he said.

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Udall has previously pushed for plans to reverse the Citizens United ruling, most recently introducing an amendment in 2017.

In order to pass as an amendment, the proposal would require two-thirds approval in the Senate and the House, where Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., introduced companion legislation.

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