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Constitutional amendment required to undo ‘Citizens United,’ Senate panel told

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posted on Jul, 25 2012 @ 03:36 PM
Many people who thought the "Citizens United" thing could easily be "controlled" or 'banished" by anything less than a full Constitutional Amendment have been informed that it in fact would take a full Constitutional Amendment.

Apparently, it's not easy to get around the 1st Amendment.

Several law scholars testified before the Senate and gave reasons.

It will take a constitutional amendment to reverse the flood of independent money inundating American elections in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee was told on Tuesday.

New laws alone will not be enough to counter the impact of the 2010 high court decision establishing that corporations have a First Amendment right to make independent political expenditures during election season, witnesses told the panel.

The hearing of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights arises in a particularly heated election season in which new political spending enabled by Citizens United has played a prominent role. The hearing was chaired by Sen. Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois and was entirely a production of Democratic members of the Senate...[article continues]

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How does all that big money "Buy" elections anyway ??

How do you "Amend" the 1st Amendment ??

posted on Jul, 25 2012 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by xuenchen

Its not that you have to get around the 1st amendment. Its that the 1st amendment was interpreted insanely and the Supreme Court, insane or not, is the ultimate decider.

There are precedents for this situation:

The first one Barron v Baltimore found that the Bill of Rights did not apply to the States, only the Federal Government. Thus Baltimore was within its rights to deny just compensation to Mr. Barron's ferry company when they appropriated his property. Prior to this it was understood that Constitutional protections applied to the States as well as the Feds. The Supremes found otherwise.

The second, Scott v Sandford in 1857, also known as the Dred Scott Decision ruled that no black man could ever be a citizen of the United States. The idea was repugnant then, just as it is repugnant now. Prior to this it was understood that birth in the country was the criterion, for ANY (free) man, black or white. It is considered far and away the worst Supreme Court decision in history. I would say Citizens United is in the same class.

Both these decisions, were seen as wrong legally, and wrong headed. But they were the law of the land because the Supreme Court said so. Congress attempted to correct the problem legislatively, but soon realized that only an amendment would do. They proposed what would become the 14th Amendment and it was approved by the States.

The 14th Amendment enshrines in the Constitution what was previously unwritten, but never-the-less understood to be the case before Dred Scott, that a person born in the country is a citizen of the country (the natural born) and that persons born outside of the country can become citizens (the naturalized). It also makes explicit that the Constitutionally guaranteed protections apply equally to States, not just the Federal Government.

I would personally prefer that the Supremes would find a way to repudiate Citizens United, and overturn themselves, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The problem is that Congress can't agree on what color toilet paper to use in the Capitol toilets, and they are addicted to all that black money. I'm not holding my breath for a Constitutional amendment either.

How does all that big money "Buy" elections anyway ??

I assume that is a rhetorical question. How do bribes 'buy' influence?

How do you "Amend" the 1st Amendment ??

The point is not to "Amend" the 1st Amendment, but to correct a misapplication of it. I have not considered appropriate language, but I'm sure there are Constitutional Scholars trying to come up with language that overrules CU without completely breaking the protections that companies should have.

And you "Amend" the 1st Amendment exactly the same way you amend any other part of the Constitution. You propose new language and get 2/3 of the States to approve it. How did the 22nd Amendment "Amend" the 18th Amendment?

edit on 25/7/2012 by rnaa because: (no reason given)

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