In January, 2010, in a case of massive judicial overreach, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that swept aside more than a century of legal and judicial precedent that banned corporate money from political campaigns. In this narrowly decided 5-4 decision, the court overturned the foundation of America's campaign finance laws that had prevented wealthy individuals and large corporations from gaining even more influence over the American political system. Here is how Senator Sanders has described it: "The disastrous Citizens United decision is one of the worst decisions ever brought about by the Supreme Court of this country."
This and other recent rulings have established that corporations and individuals are free to donate unlimited amounts to independent expenditure groups, more commonly known as super PACs. Now, thanks to Citizens United and its progeny, the wealthiest individuals, corporations and special interests can use their resources to influence elections and ensure elected officials are beholden to their narrow policy interests.
For more than thirty years, Senator Sanders has been a staunch advocate for effective campaign finance reform that reduces the influence of special interests and corporations. To that end, he has introduced a resolution to amend the United States Constitution, clarifying that corporations are not people and are not entitled to influence our political processes as if they were people. Furthermore, the Saving American Democracy Amendment, (S. J. Res. 33), would allow Congress and the states to regulate campaign finance, including setting limits on election contributions and expenditures.
Sanders has also supported other efforts to reform our nation's campaign finance system. He has continuously supported the DISCLOSE Act, which would lower the veil of secrecy over campaign finance and prevent foreign corporations, individuals and governments from interfering in our political system. He voted for the McCain- Feingold bill in 2002, which placed limits on so-called "soft money" contributions. Ultimately, Senator Sanders believes the best way to limit special interest and corporate influence over the political process is to transition to public funding of elections, effectively removing outside money from the system entirely.