Monday, June 04, 2012
Resolution to Amend the U.S. Constitution and Reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision Introduced at the Albuquerque City Council
Tonight at the Albuquerque City Council meeting City Councilor Rey Garduno will introduce a resolution calling on the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission.
The Citizens United ruling resulted in an explosion of unlimited, and often undisclosed, Super PAC spending, as we have seen in the current New Mexico state legislative races, as well as in the Republican presidential nominating process. The resolution is an important statement by the Albuquerque City Council because the constitutional amendment process requires ratification by a minimum of 38 states and passage would strongly affirm the support of New Mexico’s largest city.
Earlier this year, Representative Mimi Stewart (Albuquerque) and Senator Steve Fischmann (Las Cruces) passed both House Memorial 4 and Senate Memorial 3, making New Mexico the second state in United States to call on Congress to pass an amendment and reverse the Citizens United decision (Hawaii was the first, in April 2010). Since that time Rhode Island and California have followed suit, joining the rising tide of hundreds of cities and towns across the country.
Advocate Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico praised the resolution’s introduction as “a frank statement of the State of New Mexico’s intent to correct the egregiously wrong Citizens United decision that allowed corporations to spend millions on electing politicians who will do their bidding.” And LeMoyne Castle of Albuquerque Move to Amend says the “City Council resolution supported by Move To Amend and the Education Outreach Group makes it clear that money is just an amplifier of speech and that granting human rights to corporations inevitably violates the principle of equal protection.”
The dramatic increase in election-related funding by artificial entities threatens to drown out all other forms of speech, public debate, and election discourse. Addressing the flood of campaign contributions from corporations and wealthy individuals is supported by a vast and diverse majority of Americans, including two-thirds of small business owners.
79% of Americans support passage of an amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling, showing that this issue truly transcends political ideology. According to the 2010 Hart Research survey, 82% of Independent voters, 68% of Republican voters and 87% of Democratic voters support a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling. Additionally, John McCain has called this the “worst decision in this Supreme Court’s history.”
After its introduction tonight, the resolution is expected to be heard at the June 18, 2012 City Council meeting.