Durbin, Duckworth Join Senate Democratic Caucus To Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Democracy for All Amendment, introduced by entire Senate Democratic Caucus, would help get big money out of politics and put power back in the hands of the American people

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined the entire Senate Democratic Caucus to introduce the Democracy for All Amendment, a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other disastrous court decisions, help get big money out of politics, and put power back in the hands of the American people.

“I was proud to preside over a hearing and lead the markup of this amendment as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights in 2014.  While we successfully reported the amendment out of the Judiciary Committee that year, Republicans unfortunately filibustered it on the Senate floor,” Durbin said.  “And we know why.  They benefit from a broken campaign finance system that elevates the voices of special interests and wealthy donors over the millions of Americans who are worried about health care bills, housing costs, and tuition payments.  We must continue fighting to enshrine this amendment in our Constitution and ensure that our democracy is responsive to all Americans—not just corporations and multi-millionaires.”

“The Citizens United decision threw open the floodgates for dark money to flow into our elections, helping special interests to interfere with our democracy,” Duckworth said.  “It’s time for common-sense reforms to restore trust in our elections and our government.  That’s why I’m joining Senator Durbin in helping introduce the Democracy for All Amendment, which will finally put a stop to this corrupting influence and ensure the American people’s voices are heard in our elections, not those of foreign governments and special interests.”

Citizens United and other disastrous Supreme Court decisions have unleashed a flood of unlimited corporate spending in U.S. elections and opened the door for wealthy special interests to have an outsized voice in our government.  These decisions have wrongfully equated money with free speech, and wrongfully determined that big, wealthy corporations have the same first amendment rights as people.  The Democracy for All Amendment gives the power back to Congress and the states to set reasonable campaign finance rules and limit corporate spending in elections.  The amendment would enshrine in the Constitution the right of the American people to regulate the raising and spending of funds in public elections, and curb the concentration of political influence held by the wealthiest Americans.  

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL).

The Democracy for All Amendment is backed by a broad range of campaign finance and government reform advocates, including End Citizens United, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, American Promise, Common Cause, Free Speech For People, and Union of Concerned Scientists.  Statements of support are available here.

The full text of the amendment is available here.  A background summary is available here, and a section-by-section with FAQs is available here