IA-03: Boswell introduces constitutional amendment to overturn SCOTUS ruling

Representative Leonard Boswell (D, IA-03) has introduced a constitutional amendment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens United case, Iowa Independent reported today.

Boswell is looking for co-sponsors and explained the case for amending the constitution:

“I have introduced this important legislation because the Supreme Court’s ruling strikes at the very core of democracy in the United States by inflating the speech rights of large, faceless corporations to the same level of hard-working, every day Americans,” Boswell said in a statement. “The court’s elevation of corporate speech inevitably overpowers the speech and interests of human citizens who do not have the coffers to speak as loudly.”

Boswell said House Joint Resolution 68 would disallow a corporation or labor organization from using any operating funds or any other funds from its general treasury to pay for an advertisement in connection with a federal election campaign, regardless of whether or not the advertisement expressly advocates the election or defeat of a specified candidate.

“Corporations already have an active role in American political discourse through million-dollar political action committees and personal donations to campaigns,” Boswell said. “The legislation I introduced will prevent the Wall Street corporations that received billions in taxpayer bailout dollars from turning around and pouring that same money into candidates that will prevent financial regulation on their industry. No American should have to turn on the TV and see AIG telling them how to vote.”

I totally agree with Boswell, although I'm pessimistic that Congress would pass this kind of amendment. I'm curious to see how many Democrats will back this effort.

Tags: SCOTUS, campaign finance, constitution (all tags)



Since the Five Republican Political Operatives

on the Court argue that corporations and persons are equivalent, limit an individual corporations's contribution to that for an ordinary individual - $2300 per corporation.

by Bob H 2010-01-21 04:56PM | 0 recs
RE: Since the Five Republican Political Operatives

But some animals are more equal than others.


by Charles Lemos 2010-01-21 05:00PM | 1 recs
RE: Since the Five Republican Political Operatives

That's way to high.  We should limit contributions to a dollar a person, and corporations should not be able to contribute at all.   That would quickly end our American plutocracy.

by Georgeo57 2010-01-21 05:49PM | 0 recs
Let's all hold our breath

 until we turn blue. Once we are all Blue, then maybe this 'Amendment' idea will have a chance. And maybe HCR and immigration reform, and even that marriage thingy, too. My guess is that unless and until we decide to pony up some money and get our own message out, the corporations are going to use the ruling to more effectively fill our spongy minds with bad stuff.

On the other hand, if our favorite message remains 'Obama FAIL!" then we shouldn't bother at all.

by QTG 2010-01-21 05:43PM | 0 recs
There needs to be a faster remedy.

Ratification of a Constitutional Amendment requires 3/4ths of State legislatures.  Democrats don't have near that number, and it would take far too long to get there.  This ruling has to be defeated before the 2010 elections. 

After SCOTUS stole the 2000 election for Bush with their treasonous explanation that allowing the recount to continue would violate Bush's rights, this current decision amounts to their throwing down the gauntlet.  Now it's our turn. 

What are the possible remedies?  One; Congress can ignore the ruling.  Two; Congress can create two new seats that would overturn the decision.

The Conservative members of SCOTUS have over-reached so egregiously on this one that they have in a single day set the stage for a very quick end to the Republican revolution and the rule of money in politics.

Democrats will not let this decision stand because the Democratic Party, and our democracy, would end if it stands. 

Democrats have been playing defense for a while.  This ruling provides them the perfect motive and opportunity to launch an offensive that will, while restoring our democracy, result in a Democratic gain rather than a loss of seats in November. 


by Georgeo57 2010-01-21 05:48PM | 0 recs
RE: There needs to be a faster remedy.

corps drop big money into 1 or 2 races to show oppnents just what unlimited money means, and every other incumbant candidate who watches will STFU pronto. Watch.

by QTG 2010-01-21 08:07PM | 0 recs
RE: IA-03: Boswell introduces constitutional amendment to overturn SCOTUS ruling

What a surprise.  Leonard Boswell wants to gag the unions and the public advocacy groups.

And what reason would The Honorable Rep. Boswell have for hating the citizens who organize through the ACLU, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, SEIU, &c?  Maybe he just knows that the PAC system protects corporcrats like him from the free speech unleashed yesterday by the Supreme Court.

by Newt 2010-01-22 11:34AM | 0 recs

don't quite understand the SCOTUS decision do you?

by ND22 2010-01-22 12:20PM | 0 recs
It has nothing to do with whether Congress would pass it...

If they did, it would then go to the nation's state houses.  Three-quarters of all state legislatures would have to ratify it.  That means 38 out of 50 -- including quite a few red states whose Republican-dominated legislatures know full well that the SCOTUS decision is a windfall for their party being able to keep and hold onto power.

Let's put it this way: in a far more progressive time, we couldn't even pass an amendment giving women equal rights to men.  What makes you think we'd be able to pass anything that would require lots of state reps to agree to a measure that would take away the advantage they will now enjoy over their potential rivals?

Ain't. Gonna. Happen.



by JDWalley 2010-01-22 08:25PM | 0 recs


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