Today, Congressman Ted Deutch's (D-FL) constitutional amendment to ban all corporate spending in elections and make clear that corporations are not people with constitutionally protected rights will be introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT). TheSaving American Democracy Amendment is companion legislation to Congressman Deutch's H.J. Res 90, the Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Amendment.
Though several amendments aimed at overturning Citizens United have been introduced in recent weeks, the Sanders-Deutch amendment is the only proposal that:
Makes clear that free speech and other constitutionally protected rights are those of natural persons and not corporations or entities formed to promote their business interests.
Reaffirms that corporations are formed in accordance with laws written by the people and are thus subject to laws enacted to protect the environment, ensure public health, and other safeguards for the people.
Overturns Citizens United by ending corporations' ability to spend unlimited amounts of their general treasury funds in elections.
Empowers Congress and the States to crack down on spending by third party front groups using anonymous cash from corporations and their CEOs and authorizes the setting of caps, limits, and disclosure requirements on all forms of political expenditures and contributions.
To read a fact sheet on the amendment, click here.
"I am thrilled that Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced the Saving American Democracy Amendment, a companion bill to H.J. Res 90, my legislation in the House," said Congressman Deutch. "The dominance of corporations in Washington has imperiled the economic security of the American people and left our citizens profoundly disenchanted with our democracy. I look forward to working with Senator Sanders to save American democracy by banning all corporate spending in our elections and cracking down on secret front groups using anonymous corporate cash to undermine the public interest."
"There comes a time when an issue is so important that the only way to address it is by a constitutional amendment," Sanders said of the effort to override the court decision that he labeled "a complete undermining of democracy." TheSaving American Democracy Amendment is the first constitutional amendment ever proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders during his two decades in office.