By Nick Nyhart
Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its long-awaited decision in Citizens United v. FEC. And to nobody’s surprise, the Roberts Court issued a sweeping ruling that overturned the decades-old ban on corporate spending in elections.
The Court’s slim 5-4 majority went leaps and bounds beyond the factual record of the case in order to gut longstanding principles of well-settled election law. Specifically, the Court overturned Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a landmark case in election law that upheld prohibitions on independent expenditures from a corporation’s general treasury fund.
We have all witnessed the corrosive impact that corporate and big money interests have had on the critical debates in Congress this year. They have successfully watered down or killed meaningful legislation on health care, financial regulation, and climate change. The Citizens United case will make an untenable situation worse. Members of Congress who vote against the deep pocket lobbyists will fear retribution during campaign season as they never have before.
To counter this increase in big money influence, we need Congress to act right away by passing the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752, H.R. 1826).
Please sign our petition to Congress today: The Fair Elections Now Act is the best way to respond to the Roberts Court blatant disregard for democracy.
We need to tell Congress that now, more than ever, we need to change the way Washington works by passing Fair Elections.