WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) joined Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and the entire Senate Democratic Caucus in introducing the Democracy for All Amendment, a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and other disastrous court decisions, help get big money out of politics, and put power back in the hands of the American people.
Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions have unleashed a flood of unlimited corporate spending in U.S. elections and opened the door for wealthy special interests to have an outsized voice in our government. These decisions have wrongfully equated money with free speech, and wrongfully determined that big, wealthy corporations have the same first amendment rights as people. The Democracy for All Amendment gives the power back to Congress and the states to set reasonable campaign finance rules and limit corporate spending in elections. The amendment would enshrine in the Constitution the right of the American people to regulate the raising and spending of funds in public elections, and curb the concentration of political influence held by the wealthiest Americans.
“The Citizens United decision opened the door for special interests and corporate America to have an even greater influence over our political system,” said Cardin. “We can’t let dark money drown out the voices of everyday Americans. The power of our democracy belongs to the people – not corporations, not the wealthy elite. The Senate has a chance to make it right and overturn this counterproductive decision to restore faith in and defend our free and fair electoral system.”
Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (D-Fla.). In addition to Cardin, Udall, Shaheen, and Schumer, the Democracy for All Amendment is co-sponsored by the entire Senate Democratic Caucus: U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Angus King (I-Maine), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz).
The Democracy for All Amendment is backed by a broad range of campaign finance and government reform advocates, including End Citizens United, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, American Promise, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, and Union of Concerned Scientists. Statements of support are available HERE.