28th Amendment Introduced in Congress With More Than 100 Sponsors

January 21, 2015

On the 5th anniversary of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, more than 100 Senators and Representatives introduced a Constitutional amendment that would overturn the decision.

The Democracy For All Amendment restores the ability of Americans to enact local, state and federal laws to combat corruption and unequal citizenship with fair election spending rules, including restrictions on political spending by corporations.

In response to unlimited election spending by global corporations, some large unions, and a relative handful of extremely wealthy people, more than 600 cities and towns, and 16 states have called on Congress to send such an amendment to the States for ratification.

Large cross-partisan majorities of Americans support such an amendment, as the Citizens United decision has exposed how concentrated money in politics excludes most Americans from meaningful participation and representation, and corrupts government and policy. Ballot initiatives calling for the 28th Amendment frequently pass by margins of 75-25%, as in Montana in 2012.

Here’s the text of the Democracy For All Amendment (S.J. Res. 5 and H.J. Res. 22):

Section 1.  To advance democratic self-government and political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.    

Section 2.  Congress and the States shall have power to implement this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections.

 Section 3.  Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.

About Jeff Clements

Jeff Clements is co-founder and chair of the board of Free Speech for People, a national non-partisan campaign to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, challenge excessive corporate power, and strengthen American democracy and republican self-government. He co-founded Free Speech For People in 2010, after representing several public interest organizations with a Supreme Court amicus brief in the Citizens United case. Jeff has served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. As Bureau Chief, he led more than 100 staff in the enforcement of environmental, healthcare, financial services, civil rights, antitrust and consumer protection laws. In private practice, Jeff has been a partner at Mintz Levin in Boston, and in his own firm. Jeff also has served in leadership capacities on numerous boards, including that of the Portland Water District, a public agency responsible for protecting and delivering safe drinking water and ensuring proper treatment of wastewater for 160,000 people; Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental organization he co-founded with others to protect and enhance stewardship of Maine’s Casco Bay; and The Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 2012, Jeff co-founded Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides cost-effective capital to farmers and businesses engaged in local, sustainable agriculture. Jeff graduated with distinction in History and Government from Colby College in 1984, and magna cum laude from the Cornell Law School in 1988. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife and three children. Jeff Clements Twitter: @ClementsJeff Email: jclements@freespeechforpeople.org
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