Could a Constitutional Amendment Overturn Citizens United?

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A constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and abolish the “super pac” has begun.  The super pac can accept unlimited personal and corporate campaign contributions and accounted for almost a Billion dollars that was spent in this years elections.

Voters in Montana and Colorado have voiced their displeasure with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The decision gave rise to the “Super PAC” after holding that the First Amendment does not allow political speech restrictions simply based on a speaker’s corporate identity. 

Montana’s Initiative 166 passed overwhelmingly with 75% of the vote. It states that “the people of Montana regard money as property, not speech.” It further adds that Montanans “intend that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending that allows all individuals, regardless of wealth, to express their views to one another and their government.” It directs the state congressional delegation to propose an amendment establishing that “corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights.

When the Supreme Court issues a decision, it must be followed in every state. Under the doctrine of stare decisis, lower courts are obligated to follow the precedent of the Supreme Court, regardless of whether they believe the justices got the decision right. Supreme Court justices are also bound to honor decisions issued by their predecessors, although the doctrine is arguably a bit flexible in this case.

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Published In: Constitutional Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Donald Scarinci, Scarinci Hollenbeck | Attorney Advertising

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