The 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United vs FEC case effectively blocked the ability to enact limits on campaign spending. The Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to the billions of dollars that have since poured into the election system, enabling those with access to concentrated wealth to have vastly more influence over our political system than the average American.
Since the Citizens United case, election spending has skyrocketed, as large-scale donors—including global corporations, individuals, and industry and union lobbies, even foreign government interests—funnel money into the electoral process. Citizens United established “corporate personhood,” the idea that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as humans, and opened the door to SuperPACs, which enable anonymous contributions, or “dark money,” meaning voters have no way of knowing who is funding campaigns. The Supreme Court says we aren’t allowed to pass laws in our states or in Congress to deal with the problem, as they claim that would violate the “free speech rights” of corporations, industries, billionaires, and special interests. But we don’t agree. We think the First Amendment and free speech belong to every American, and no one has a right to corrupt and buy our government.
The path to overrule the Supreme Court and end Citizens United lies in the hands of the American people and the constitutional amendment process. As a cross-partisan, citizen-driven organization, American Promise is working with Americans across the country to advance the For Our Freedom Amendment and ensure an equal voice for every American. The For Our Freedom Amendment is supported by more than 75% of Americans of every political persuasion.