Senate Democrats Plot Vote To Overturn Citizens United In 2014

AP

The Senate will vote in 2014 on a constitutional amendment to undo Supreme Court rulings in recent years which invalidated campaign finance limits, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday.

The No. 3 Democratic senator made the announcement during a Senate Rules Committee hearing, saying his majority would hold a vote on Sen. Tom Udall’s (D-NM) proposal, which would reverse decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon and restore Congress’s authority to set campaign finance limits.

“The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections,” Schumer said. “That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. The only way to undo the damage the court has done is to pass Senator Udall’s amendment to the Constitution, and Senate Democrats are going to try to do that. Before the year is out, we’re going to bring it up on the Senate floor for a vote, where we hope Republicans will join us in ensuring the wealthy can’t drown out middle-class voices in our democracy.”

The proposal stands virtually no chance of gaining the two-thirds majority required in the House and Senate to amend the Constitution, much less being ratified by three-fourths of states. It is part of Democrats’ election-year strategy in 2014, given the unpopularity of the Citizens United ruling. Republicans are largely supportive of the Supreme Court’s decisions.

Former Justice John Paul Stevens, an outspoken critic of the Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings, testified at the hearing Wednesday. He retired from the Supreme Court in 2010.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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