The Vermont Senate on Thursday called on Congress to propose a constitutional amendment to undo a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that threw out a ban on corporate campaign spending. "Citizens United was one of the worst decisions ever handed down by the Supreme Court. The people of Vermont and across America are totally disgusted with the huge amounts of money that billionaires and corporations are now throwing into the political process as a result of that misguided decision," Sen. Bernie Sanders said after the vote. Sanders last Dec. 8 introduced the Saving American Democracy Amendment. His proposal would restore the power of Congress and state lawmakers to enact campaign spending limits like laws that were in place for a century before the controversial court ruling.
"The Vermont Senate has now added its strong voice to a grassroots movement that is growing all across the United States," Sanders added. "We must overturn this disastrous decision."
The Vermont Senate resolution asks Congress to consider an amendment to clarify that "money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution."
The state Senate vote came after similar resolutions were passed in March by voters in 64 Vermont communities on Town Meeting Day. State and local officials across the country also have begun to speak out against the 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission.
In Washington, a summit meeting is scheduled for April 18 in the Capitol on local, state, and federal efforts to amend the Constitution in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. The meeting is hosted by Sens. Sanders and Tom Udall and Reps. Ted Deutch, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison and Jim McGovern.