Sending Office: Honorable Adam B. Schiff
Sent By:
Anthony.Theissen@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsor Constitutional Amendment to Restore Confidence in Democracy

Deadline to be an original cosponsor: 2pm Wednesday, May 8th

Current CoSponsors (3): Holmes Norton, McCollum, Welch

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to become an original cosponsor of a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s ill-considered opinion in Citizens United, as well as other precedents which have made it impossible to regulate billions in campaign spending. I do
not recommend this step lightly, but the Court’s decisions pose such a threat to the health of our democracy that we must act. 

The Amendment would address a flawed legal theory going back to the Court’s 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo which established an artificial distinction between campaign contributions and expenditures – permitting some regulation of the former,
and precluding any meaningful regulation of the latter. Rather than focusing solely on Citizens United, the Amendment would directly address the fundamental flaws underlying the Court’s reasoning in this entire line of cases.

The Amendment makes it clear that the Constitution does not restrict the ability of Congress or the States to propose reasonable content-neutral limitations on campaign contributions and independent expenditures to protect the integrity of our democracy.
It is a concise statement of this principle, and provides:

“Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to forbid Congress or the states from imposing reasonable content-neutral limitations on private campaign contributions or independent election expenditures.”

The Amendment also allows – but does not require – public financing of campaigns when states like Arizona choose to enact such laws. It reads:

“Nor shall this Constitution prevent Congress or the states from enacting systems of public campaign financing, including those designed to restrict the influence of private wealth by offsetting campaign spending or independent expenditures with increased
public funding.”

We have all witnessed the pernicious impact of unrestrained spending on campaigns. The tidal wave of independent expenditures creates an unmistakable appearance of corruption and impropriety. Americans will assume, perhaps with good reason, that the levers
of our government can be bought by the wealthiest members or incorporated entities of our society. This impression will ultimately demean and weaken our democracy. Therefore, I ask for your support for this Amendment.

If you would like to be an original cosponsor, or if you have any questions, please contact Anthony Theissen on my staff at anthony.theissen@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Adam B. Schiff

Member of Congress

 

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to the authority of Congress and the States to regulate contributions and expenditures in political campaigns and to enact public financing systems for such campaigns.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States,
which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

`Article–

`Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to forbid Congress or the States from imposing reasonable content-neutral limitations on private campaign contributions or independent election expenditures, or from enacting systems of public campaign financing,
including those designed to restrict the influence of private wealth by offsetting campaign spending or independent expenditures with increased public funding.’.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Elections, Government

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