Greg Kesich’s Nov. 22 column (“2020 reveals injury executed by an excessive amount of cash in politics”) precisely identifies the Supreme Court docket’s 2010 Residents United resolution as having offered the inexperienced gentle for the runaway spending that plagues our elections immediately.
Nevertheless, as Kesich notes, democracy reform laws comparable to HR 1 can’t itself overturn Citizens United. And so long as Residents United stands, American jurisprudence will proceed to carry that cash spent to affect elections is equal to free speech, and that synthetic entities like political motion committees are entitled to the identical constitutional rights as people.
These two authorized fictions signify judicial activism that lacks both originalist or modern legitimacy: The Founding Fathers included no language to this impact when drafting the Structure, and neither of those premises enjoys in style assist immediately.
A Supreme Court docket resolution, irrespective of how illogical or unjust, can solely be completely overturned by constitutional modification.
The We the Individuals Modification, which has been launched as HJ Res 48 within the U.S. Home of Representatives and has greater than 70 co-sponsors, would amend the Structure to explicitly negate each of the authorized fictions underpinning Residents United. Rep. Chellie Pingree has already co-sponsored this important democracy reform and deserves our gratitude; Rep. Jared Golden has but to take action.
Readers who share Kesich’s need to finish the corrupting affect of cash in our elections ought to contact Rep. Golden, in addition to Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and ask them to co-sponsor HJ Res. 48.