By Nicole Flatow
Opponents of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC gathered at courthouses around the country today to protest the decision around its two-year anniversary, many petitioning for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling.
The Constitutional Accountability Center released an Issue Brief bolstering the case for a constitutional amendment. To “those who think an amendment overturning Citizens United is a pipedream,” the Issue Brief and an accompanying blog post by Constitutional Accountability Center President Doug Kendall offer the story of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. and its invalidation through the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment.
“Throughout our history, the American people have amended the Constitution in order to undo Court rulings that misinterpreted the Constitution," Kendall writes. "In addition to the Sixteenth Amendment, the Eleventh, Fourteenth, and Twenty-Sixth amendments were all sparked, at least in part, by divided Supreme Court rulings. In these Amendments, the American people agreed that the dissenting opinions, not the majority, better articulated the meaning of the Constitution.”
But not everyone agrees that a constitutional amendment is the best solution to curb the infiltration of money into politics.
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt writes for The New Republic that, unlike other movements to amend, an amendment to overturn Citizens United would “retract rights rather than expand them.” Schmitt suggests that this movement instead focus its energies on rooting out corruption in election spending more generally. He writes: