Commissioners back effort to overturn high court ruling

January 4, 2012
Peter Roper

The Pueblo County commissioners on Tuesday gave unanimous support to a resolution to amend the U.S. Constitution, specifically to overturn the controversial 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that set aside all federal limits on corporate spending in elections.

The commissioners took the step at the request of a local group, Pueblo Move to Amend, which is trying to organize local support for a national amendment. A dozen or so supporters were on hand at the commissioners' meeting to applaud their vote.

The high court decision — Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — has dramatically changed the pattern of campaign financing since it was announced in January 2010. The 5-4 decision ruled that federal campaign limits on corporate spending in elections were unconstitutional limits on free speech.

 The ruling swept aside several previous high court decisions that had upheld federal limits on direct corporate and labor union spending in elections.

The controversial ruling has sparked calls for an amendment to the Constitution that would limit free speech rights to individual citizens only.

"Corporations are not people and (contributions) are not free speech," said Leslie Cates, a member of the Pueblo group.

 Commissioner Jeff Chostner, an attorney, agreed with the sentiments of the speakers Tuesday, saying the court ruling went too far.

"It's been instrumental to the political reality of funneling the untold wealth of the few into our political process," he said.

The Pueblo group said it is having an organizational meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library.


Groups audience: 

- Private group -