A growing number of articles are surfacing of late indicating that there is a movement to “overturn the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United.” But that’s not possible, and that’s not what’s happening.
Only a higher court can overturn a court’s decision. As the highest court in the land, however, there’s no higher court to overturn a U.S. Supreme Court decision. It’s the end of the road, the authoritative opinion, on constitutional law.
The CU decision occurred the way it did because the framework, the specific wording and – we trust – the framers’ intent allowed the Constitution to be interpreted in that way by the people we have empowered to make such determinations.
So what do we do? We do what we, the people are empowered to do, following the procedure laid out for us in the Constitution itself: we frack Citizens United. We inject something new into the Constitution by means of an Amendment, so that the very same questions which resulted in the unwanted decision of CU, when asked of this new version of the law, must necessarily be decided in a different way.
I think it’s important to realize this difference. We are not overturning Citizens United. That decision, based on the Constitution as it was (and still is, currently), still stands. Assuming the necessary Amendment becomes law, there could still arise a situation in which the Supreme Court is again charged with determining whether the Constitution allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns. Now, however, they will be holding that decision over a newly revised Constitution, and will hopefully come up with different results.
Our goal in inserting the Amendment therefore is to make sure that it is robust enough that its intent is unequivocal. That for purposes of electoral campaigns, corporations’ spending can in fact be limited, and must be, in accordance with the new Constitution. Order will be restored, people will once again have their voice, and a feeling of wellness will once again settle over the land.