Obama Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United - Move to Amend Response

August 31, 2012

On Wednesday, President Obama called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United:

"Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."

The Move to Amend coalition has been fighting Citizens United since Day One, and has been organizing against corporate rule for over a decade; we welcome Obama’s statement and his help ‘shining a spotlight’ on the same position held by the majority of Americans. He just doesn’t go far enough.

The good news is that President Obama’s comment has put this issue in the news and in the spotlight. Yesterday big money in politics was the topic of discussion over at HuffPost Live all day (where Move to Amend leaders were featured as guests twice).

The bad news is that the frame is all on Citizens United – as if that is when the problem began. Other organizations whose goals and campaigns are much more limited than Move to Amend’s are touting that Obama has “joined the movement.”

That’s a dangerous stance to take. If we say that “overturning Citizens United” is what our movement is about, that is all we’ll get – the politics of 2009, when the wealthy ruled the country and big money ruled our politics. Not to mention failing to address the other ways that corporations use their so-called Constitutional rights to overturn laws aimed to protect the public.

Move to Amend is aiming higher, and we know that you are too.

Our amendment will address both of the spurious doctrines at play in Citizens United: the notion that a corporation is a person and that money is free speech. An amendment that rights both of these wrongs – with no loopholes – is the only amendment Move to Amend will ever support. You can count on us not to accept a watered-down, inadequate solution.

We are proud that our movement has the attention of the President and others in Washington DC, but we know the real work at this moment is not in the corrupt halls of Congress, but in our communities -- reaching our neighbors to help us realize our collective power.

To that end, please help us use this opportunity of the spotlight created by the President’s comment:

We are gaining in numbers and gaining in traction, but there’s still a ways to go to make the 28th Amendment a reality. Let’s keep our eye on the (real) prize and victory will be ours!

Yours for democracy,

Ashley Sanders, Ben Manski, Daniel Lee, David Cobb, Egberto Willies, Jerome Scott, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Laura Bonham, Leesa "George" Friday, Nancy Price, Stephen Justino
Move to Amend National Executive Committee

PS -- Another way to get involved is to join our Stampede to Amend effort. Click here to learn all about it and find out how you can get involved.