Citizens united….against Citizens United

Senate Democrats are proposing a Constitutional amendment that would allow Congress and the States to regulate elections more stringently.

What I like about this idea is that it’s a possible recognition of something that few politicians like to go on the record admitting – sometimes the Constitution says something that we disagree with, and the only way to change it is to change the Constitution.  I am not a legal scholar by any means, but I tend to agree with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens UnitedIf a private citizen or group of private citizens want to pool their money and buy and ad, I don’t see that the 1st Amendment allows the government to do much to stop that.

That said, the ruling has essentially legalized corruption – Super PACs and the other organizations that have sprung up in the wake of the Court’s ruling allow massive amounts of money to be donated essentially anonymously.  Although these groups aren’t technically associated with the campaigns, the veneer is pretty thin.  The running gag Stephen Colbert has been running with his Super PAC has done an amazing job of highlight the rediculousness of the current situation.

So if you believe that

  a) The 1st Amendment’s Free Speech protections make effective campaign finance reform impossible and that

  b) We need more effective campaign finance reform

the only reasonable remedy is a Constitutional Amendment.  It doesn’t sound like the Democrats amendment has much of a chance, and having not read the text of it, I can’t say whether I support their particular version of it or not.  I think any Amendment would have to have protection of the “little-guy” baked into it – that is, it shouldn’t give the government the ability to restrict what an individual, acting alone, can do to effect elections.  I do, however, believe that a Constitutional Amendment is our best chance to effectively reform our election system.

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About thinklikeafox

I'm a Naval Officer living in Southern California. I hope to be attending law school in the next year or two, and I started writing this blog out of a desire to improve my writing and critical thinking skills after a couple years outside of academia.
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