In what advocates are calling a boon for “true democracy,” the U.S. Senate on Monday voted to advance a constitutional amendment to overturn two recent Supreme Court decisions that have “opened the floodgates” to unlimited election spending from corporations and wealthy individuals.
Voting 79-18 to overcome a filibuster, Senators from both parties elected to open up S.J. Resolution 19—known as the “Democracy for All” amendment—to full debate. The legislation seeks to undo Supreme Court rulings in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC by authorizing Congress and the states to limit fundraising and spending on federal candidates. The amendment also prohibits the Supreme Court from reversing any future campaign finance legislation passed by Congress.
“If we are going to maintain a true democracy, it’s imperative we overturn Citizens United,” Independent Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) declared before the vote, speaking to a crowd of people rallying outside the Capitol building.
Groups advocating for the amendment—including Greenpeace, Credo Mobile, Common Cause, Public Citizen, MoveOn.org and People for the American Way—delivered over three million signatures calling on lawmakers to “make Congress more responsive to the interests of average Americans – not just the super wealthy and corporate interests.” The “Democracy for All” amendment, the petition reads, “is one of the critical steps to repairing our democracy.”
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