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Aug 02

Proposed Constitutional Amendments to “Overturn Citizens United” Would Actually Overturn Hundreds of Cases

Bernie Sanders

(Pictured above: Bernie Sanders, who is pushing to amend the Constitution to give much more power to the government to “regulate” (meaning fine, punish, or imprison for) (private) spending on ideological-oriented ads, pamphlets or broadcasts.)

More than a dozen proposals have been introduced in the two chambers of Congress to supposedly overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. F.E.C. ruling.

However, even the mildest of these proposals would overturn hundreds of constitutional cases.

In 2010, the Supreme Court struck down small parts of the “McCain-Feingold” Law, which MADE IT A FELONY to spend money on political-oriented ads in some circumstances. This phony “law” was unconstitutional from the beginning, because the First Amendment states plainly that “Congress shall make no law” abridging freedom of speech and press.

We at Lysander Spooner University are presently undertaking a research project to try to determine how many First Amendment cases would be overturned by such proposed constitutional amendments. At minimum, these proposals would gut a quarter-century of First Amendment law in the area of political speech, from
Buckley v. Valeo (1976) onward.