Durbin Joins Introduction Of Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United

Amendment would help get big money out of politics and put power back in the hands of the American people

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to announce the reintroduction of the Democracy for All Amendment. The constitutional amendment would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, as well as other alarming decisions around campaign finance that led to floods of corporate and dark money in politics and diminished the voice of the American people in elections. These decisions have wrongfully equated money with free speech, and unfairly determined that big, wealthy corporations have the same First Amendment rights as people. 

The Democracy for All Amendment would put power back in the hands of the public and get big money out of politics by empowering Congress and states to set reasonable campaign finance rules and limiting corporate spending. 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.   

“The Citizens United ruling opened the floodgates for dark money to directly impact our campaign system for the benefit of corporations and special interests,” said Durbin. “But our government was intended to be a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people. We must mend the broken campaign finance system that elevates the voices of wealthy donors over the millions of Americans worried about health care bills, housing costs, and rising tuition rates. It’s time we enshrined the Democracy for All Amendment in our Constitution and protected our democracy from corporate interests and the influence of multi-millionaires and billionaires.”

Joining Durbin, Shaheen, Luján, and Schumer in introducing the amendment are U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

Durbin is a longtime supporter of election reform and rooting out dark money’s influence in our nation’s elections. Durbin is a cosponsor of both the For the People Act and the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that would require organizations spending money in federal elections to disclose their donors and help guard against hidden foreign influence in our democracy.