The Day After Citizens United – New National Grassroots Coalition Highlights Implications of Court’s Radical Ruling

Friday, January 22, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Jan. 22, 2010

Washington, DC.  – Move to Amend—the largest and most politically, geographically, racially diverse coalition to respond to the Supreme Court’s activist decision in the Citizens United case—issued new analysis of the implications of the ruling today, along with a quick guide to the highlights and low points of the Court’s 183-page decision.  Within one day of the decision’s release, over 20,000 Americans had signed on to the Motion to Amend the Constitution at www.MovetoAmend.org

On the make-up of the Supreme Court:

“The economic and legal systems have been racist and undemocratic from the beginning of this country.  There was a time when the Supreme Court did represent a hope for justice, butBush’s controversial pick of Justice Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O’Connor has created a Court with an aggressive corporate agenda.  'We the People' must organize with the same energy and passion as prior generations in response.” said George Friday, National Director of Independent Progressive Politics.

On the why this ruling is about much more than campaign finance:

“This ruling was not about the First Amendment, it was about the entire Bill of Rights. The Court has said that corporations are persons entitled to government protection against the will of the people. This applies not only to speech, but also to association, equal protection, and other constitutional  rights,” said Ben Manski, Executive Director of the Liberty Tree Foundation and practicing lawyer. “But corporations are not people, they are creatures of government. That’s why this decision was Pearl Harbor for American democracy.”On the assertion that the Constitution protects “speech” not “speakers”:

“Justice Roberts knows, just as every American knows, that corporations can ‘speak’ only through people and that it is a fiction that a corporation is a person entitled to human rights,” said David Swanson of the Progressive Democrats of America.  “We call on progressives and independents across the country to join us in fighting this decision.”

On the idea that corporations have been chilled under the rules overturned:

“It’s no surprise this political ruling of five justices hand-picked by Reagan and Bush has been hailed by the Republican Senate leader, who audaciously claimed that for too long corporations ‘had been deprived full participation in the political process,’” noted Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy.  “This is like Bush v. Gorebut on steroids—it seeks to pre-determine elections, with or without the voters.”

On the notion that the Court’s decision is consistent with American history:

“Justice Kennedy & co. are wrong on the history, and the day of the ruling over 15,000 Americans agreed they got it wrong and launched a movement to overrule the Supreme Court,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Director of Democracy Unlimited, adding “this is the most incredible, immediate action to a court ruling in generations, more so than even Bush v. Gore. It’s a sign of the zeitgeist that many are calling for amendments.”

On possible amendment wording:

“We’re launching a real democratic process to ensure people have a say in how to amend this,” added Dr. Riki Ott of Ultimate Civics.

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