Durbin: Constitutional Amendment Would Protect Rights of Millions Of Americans That Are Being Silenced By Corporate Wealth And Multimillionaires

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – On the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that a Constitutional Amendment is needed to protect and restore the First Amendment which has been distorted by five activist, conservative Supreme Court Justices. The Senate is expected to hold a procedural vote tonight on a Constitutional Amendment giving Congress and states express authority to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money for political campaigns. 


“With decisions like Citizens United and McCutcheon, five activist, conservative judges overturned a century of precedent and distorted the First Amendment.  Their decisions unleashed a tidal wave of special interest and corporate money into elections which has effectively silenced the voices of average Americans.  Our amendment would begin to undo this damage,” said Durbin. 

“Living, breathing Americans face challenges that are very different than those faced by corporations – and their resources pale in comparison,” Durbin continued.  “Corporations don’t get married. They don’t raise kids.  They don’t care for sick relatives. And they cannot vote in elections or run for office.  Corporations have the right to be heard, but they shouldn’t be able to use their enormous economic power to sway federal elections.”


On June 18, 2014 the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, which Durbin chairs, advanced the Constitutional Amendment which was authored in response to the tidal wave of secret spending from corporations, wealthy donors, and Super PACs unleashed by recent decisions of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority that reversed a century of precedent and gutted campaign finance laws. This was the first time that the Constitution Subcommittee considered a Constitutional amendment since 2009.

Durbin’s Constitution Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Following Subcommittee approval, the amendment received a debate and vote in the full Judiciary Committee before advancing to the Senate floor.