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Citizens United Is Unconstitutional - Restore Democracy to The People
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Citizens United Is Unconstitutional - Restore Democracy to The People


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Visit http://www.MoveToAmendJacksonCounty,org for more information. …

Visit http://www.MoveToAmendJacksonCounty,org for more information.
Quoting directly from "We’re fed up with the influence of Big Money in our political system. “If anything can unite Americans across party and ideological lines, it should be the arrogant and unprecedented Supreme Court ruling [Citizens United] that corporations [including unions, associations, and other entities] are “persons” with all the protections and rights of the Constitution. In a case trumped up by the court itself, five activist judges reversed 100 years of precedent to allow unlimited, special-interest money to be spent in our local, state and federal elections. Corporations [and other entities] are now free to spend unlimited money on behalf of a candidate they favor, or against one they wish to silence. No grassroots organization will ever be likely to raise enough money for their candidate to compete on a level playing field. Put simply in a New York Times headline, the story comes down to, “Lobbies’ New Power: Cross Us and Our Cash Will Bury You.” As moderate Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. wrote, “The only proper response to this distortion of our political system by ideologically driven justices is a popular revolt.”The choice is simple. Will government answer to the people, or serve special interests? Will elections be an opportunity for the people to speak powerfully to their government, or will elections become competitions among corporate powers, unions and giant foundations to serve their own interests? And what if corporate interests are tied to an unfriendly foreign power? It is difficult to imagine how our democracy would be strengthened by a large infusion of cash into our political process from such governments as Russia, China or Saudi Arabia. Most outrage at this attack on democracy focuses on national politics. However, the ruling also nullifies protections against corporate domination of elections in the 23 states, including Colorado, that model their laws on the federal Constitution.”

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  • 1. What is Citizens United? Why is there concern? Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission•On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court unleashed a floodof corporate money into our political system by ruling that, •Corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote or defeat candidates (this includes all entities – unions, associations, non-profits, etc.). •Contrary to longstanding precedents •Established that money is speech•The decision in this historic case – Citizens United v. FederalElection Commission – •Overturned a century of campaign finance law •Stands to deal a devastating blow to our democracy unless we act.
  • 2. The Issue: Citizens United, allows unlimited money via entities of unions, corporations, and non-profits. It allows 501(c)4 &501(c)6 undisclosed monies - including foreign money from Trade Associations: •It maintains that entity expenditures cannot corrupt elected officials, that influence over lawmakers is not corruption, and that the appearance of influence will not undermine public faith in our democracy. •i.e, allows politicians to be bought by the highest entity bidder. •rules that money is speech (replacing democracy by plutocracy – entities with the most money buy and rule our government via control of campaign financing and media influence).
  • 3. U.S. law still bans foreign corporations from participating directly in elections. But after Citizens United, trade associations like API— whose influential members include foreign corporations—are free to spend as they wish, unburdened by disclosure requirements. And these groups have taken full advantage of their new freedoms. While other campaign committees, from labor unions to Super PACs, face strict transparency rules, trade associations enjoy unparalleled power to covertly manipulate elections using corporate money. election#
  • 4. “Free” Speech is not protected when it is determined by how much money you can contribute to influence a campaign, and entities are declared to be ‘people’ “Free” Speech contribution to super PAC (political action campaign) by entity or “Free” Speech for an individual is individual is unlimited. Trade associationscapped at $2,600 for contribution to and other non profit groups are campaign and must be disclosed. unlimited and undisclosed.
  • 5. $$$$$Campaign Financing & Super PACs$$$$$SUPER MONEY = SUPER POWER versus your citizen power• Candidates and traditional candidate committees can accept $2,600 from individuals per election.• Candidates and traditional candidate committees are prohibited from accepting money from corporations, unions and associations. Federal election code prohibits those entities from contributing directly to candidates or candidate committees.• Super PACs, though, have no limitations on who contributes or how much they contribute; they can raise as much money from corporations, unions and other organizations as they please and spend unlimited amounts on overtly advocating for the election or defeat of the candidates of their choice.• Trade Associations and Social Welfare organizations require no disclosure and are also unlimited, though they are not PACs. Trade Associations may have foreign members.
  • 6. Why are super PACs so controversial?• Critics who believe money corrupts the political process say the court rulings and creation of super PACs opened the floodgates to widespread corruption. In 2012, U.S. Sen. John McCain warned: "I guarantee there will be a scandal, there is too much money washing around politics, and it’s making the campaigns irrelevant."• McCain and other critics said the rulings allowed wealthy corporations and unions to have an unfair advantage in electing candidates to federal office.• In writing his dissenting opinion for the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens opined of the majority: "At bottom, the Courts opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt."
  • 7. Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court has violated:•The Sovereignty of the American people over their government•The Constitution •First Amendment rights given to entities •Nowhere in the Constitution does it declare that money is speech or that entities (corporations, unions, non-profits) are people •Takes away Congress’ right to regulate elections granted under Art. 1 Sect. 4 •States rights - overruled without explanation•Precedents of historical court rulings
  • 8. Sovereignty •A person is a private entity with rights and sovereignty •The American people are sovereign over the government, not the other way around.•We should also be sovereign over everything the government creates•All legal fictions are creations of government.• If the creation is given power over the creator, then sovereignty islost
  • 9. End the Doctrine that Money is Speech•In Buckley v Valeo (1976), the Court ruled that moneyequals speech. The corollary is this: people, who havemoney can speak, and people who don’t, can’t. This ishow a plutocracy is defined, not a democratic Republic.•Nowhere in the Constitution does it state that moneyis a form of speech. The assertion that money is speechis legislating from the bench (and a violation ofseparation of powers).(Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976) struck down limits onindependent expenditures as unconstitutional)
  • 10. Buckley usurped Congress’ power to regulate the manner of elections•The Constitution is very clear about this. Article I, Section IV states, “TheTimes, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators andRepresentatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislaturethereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter suchRegulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.”•Both Buckley and Citizens United are fundamentally un-Constitutionaldecisions and represent a power-grab by the Supreme Court.
  • 11. Montana state law to stop election corruption nullified•In 2012, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court led thatstates cannot have their own campaign finance laws,and that all 50 states must abide by 2010′s CitizensUnited ruling.•More than 20 states’ attorneys general (including theDistrict of Columbia’s) urged the court to uphold theMontana law, arguing that corporate and unionexpenditures lead to corruption.
  • 12. Failure by Supreme Court to fulfill its function in our constitutional system•The court’s refusal to explain its decision on Montana’s lawcreates greater uncertainty for lower courts, state legislatures andthose who run political campaigns, and it will invite many morechallenges to other states’ campaign finance laws.•One of the most important jobs of the U.S. Supreme Court is tocreate clarity, certainty and predictability regarding the meaning ofthe law. The public needs to know what acts are legal andillegal, and why.•The court often is the chief expositor of the U.S. Constitution. If thecourt fails to explain its decisions, then it fails to fulfill its functionin our constitutional system.
  • 13. Citizens United breaks precedent:•Stare decisis (“star-ree dee-sigh-sis.”) is a legal principle by whichjudges are obliged to respect the precedents established by priordecisions. The words originate from the phrasing of the principle inthe Latin maxim Stare decisis et non quieta movere: "to stand bydecisions and not disturb the undisturbed." In a legal context, this isunderstood to mean that courts should generally abide byprecedents and not disturb settled matters.
  • 14. Citizens United breaks precedent: Historical backgroundTillman Act of 1907, banned corporations contributions to political partiesor candidates for any federal election campaignsTaft Hartley Act of 1947, banned expenditures by corporations and unionsin connection with general and primary federal electionsFederal Election Campaign Act of 1971 put limits on expenditures incampaignsAustin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990) upheld aMichigan law that prohibited corporations but not unions from using fundsfor individual expendituresBipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, prohibited "electioneeringcommunication" by corporations unless from a segregated PAC fundMcConnell v. Federal Election Commission, 540 U.S. 93 (2003) upheldBipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 regulation of "electioneeringcommunication"
  • 15. Conservative leadership voices grave concerns•Republican Senator John McCain, co-crafter of the 2002 BipartisanCampaign Reform Act (BCRA) and the partys 2008 presidentialnominee, said "theres going to be, over time, a backlash ... when you seethe amounts of union and corporate money thats going to go into politicalcampaigns".[53] McCain was "disappointed by the decision of the SupremeCourt and the lifting of the limits on corporate and union contributions"but not surprised by the decision, saying that "It was clear that JusticeRoberts, Alito and Scalia, by their very skeptical and even sarcasticcomments, were very much opposed to BCRA."[46]•Republican Senator Olympia Snowe opined that "Todays decision was aserious disservice to our country."[54]
  • 16. Journalists alarm•The New York Times stated in an editorial, "The Supreme Court has handed lobbyists a newweapon. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: if you vote wrong, my company, laborunion or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election."•Jonathan Alter called it the "most serious threat to American democracy in a generation".•The Christian Science Monitor wrote that the Court had declared "outright that corporateexpenditures cannot corrupt elected officials, that influence over lawmakers is notcorruption, and that appearance of influence will not undermine public faith in ourdemocracy".
  • 17. Since the Court’s Decision, Corporate Expenditures Have SoaredSince the Court’s Decision, Corporate Expenditures Have Soared• Spending by outside groups rose 427% in the 2010 elections, to $294.2 million. vi• Super PACs, which were created after an appeals court applied Citizens United, havecollectively spent more than $123 million during Campaign 2012. Overall outsidespending as of June 19, 2012 was over $150 million. viii• Outside spending made a big difference in the 2010 congressional elections; outsidegroups backed the winners in 58 of the 74 contests in which power changed hands. ix• Overall spending in the 2012 election is predicted to reach new heights – up to $9.8billion! x
  • 18. The result – what is needed to fix this?Why a Constitutional Amendment ?• A constitutional amendment is the long-term solution to fullyrestore individuals’ rights and assert once and for all that democracyis for people, not corporations (or other entities such as unions, non-profits, trade associations, welfare organizations ).• Join:• Contact:
  • 19. Informative Links•• ssion• big-business-buying-election#•• Pac.htm• scotus-campaign.html• conservatives-should-support-an-amendment-to-overturn-citizens-united/