Source: Yes Magazine
With the passage of a resolution through its state legislature, California is the latest to join this growing grassroots movement across the nation. Hawaii, New Mexico, Vermont, and Rhode Island have passed similar resolutions through their state legislatures, and a majority of state legislators in Maryland have signed a letter to Congress supporting an amendment. And, just this past Wednesday, the Montana Secretary of State certified for the November ballot a voter initiative calling for a constitutional amendment, the first such statewide ballot measure in the country.
All of this comes on the heels of another controversial Supreme Court decision, in a Montana case, that makes it clearer than ever that we the people must use our amendment power under the Constitution to defend our democracy.
In January 2010, just five Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in Citizens United, to sweep away a century of precedent barring corporate money in elections. They asserted that independent corporate expenditures would not corrupt the electoral process nor create the appearance of corruption. They made that assertion without any facts to back it up. This is because the petitioners in Citizens United never presented such facts in the first place and did not seek, in their original complaint, to overturn prior Supreme Court rulings prohibiting corporate political expenditures. These five Justices, on their own, transformed the Citizens United case into a vehicle for unleashing unlimited corporate money in our elections.
Two weeks ago, they had a chance to reconsider the decision—and the facts showing that independent corporate expenditures do lead to corruption and the appearance of corruption—by accepting for review the case of American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock: a case that addressed Montana’s century-old law barring corporate money in elections.
In 1912, the voters of Montana passed the Corrupt Practices Act in response to the dominance and control of their elections and government by the “Copper Kings,” the barons of the copper mining industry during the Gilded Age.