Senate Debate Over Regulation of Political Spending Could Crush Citizens United

The United States Senate is currently debating a constitutional amendment to allow greater regulation of political spending — which could end up crushing Citizens United.

On Monday, the Senate floor was buzzing over whether or not to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to reign in the deregulated campaign finance system. In effect, this debate could end up overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United ruling, which allowed for unlimited spending on political ads.

The debate is scheduled to go on throughout the week, but whether the measure goes forward is another story. Although 50 out of 55 Senate Democrats support the reform, there isn’t a single Senate Republican who has stepped forward to support it. Considering a constitutional amendment needs a two-thirds vote from Congress, it’s likely this amendment is already dead in the water.

Even so, the fact that the Senate is debating this at all is a miracle. It was expected that Republicans would filibuster the proposal to prevent it from reaching the Senate floor. If this measure passes, it will cause the Bill of Rights to be changed — something that’s never been done in U.S. history. Activists are not too hopeful that it will happen, however. Instead of waiting for Congressional reform, they are trying to get the amendment passed by getting the states to call a Constitutional convention. It looks like the citizens certainly are uniting over this major issue.

Photo: PFAW