Udall introduced legislation with Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colo., that would repeal the decision.
Since Udall seeks to repeal something that was ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, it would take an amendment to the U.S. Constitution — a daunting task that has not been done since 1992.
“James Madison argued that the U.S. Constitution should be amended only on ‘great and extraordinary occasions’,” Udall said in a statement. “I believe we have reached one of those occasions. Our elections no longer focus on the best ideas, but the biggest bank accounts, and Americans’ right to free speech should not be determined by their net worth. I am proud to be introducing this amendment to change the way we do business in Washington and get money out of a broken system that puts special interest over people.”
Udall was joined by Bennett and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., at the press conference announcing the legislation.
The press release announcing the legislation cited the fact that 15 states had Legislatures asking for the repeal of the controversial Supreme Court decision. This included New Mexico’s state House and Senate. Each passed non-binding memorials calling on a Constitutional Amendment to repeal the decision.
This isn’t something new for Udall. He participated in a summit calling for a constitutional amendment to repeal the amendment.
Another participant was State Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque. Stewart was supportive of Udall’s latest move to repeal.
“We applaud the leadership of Senator Tom Udall and others in Congress who understand that we must now amend the US Constitution to undo the Supreme Court’s disastrous decisions in Citizens United, in Buckley v. Valeo, and in related cases,” Steward said in a statement. “The state of New Mexico has spoken loud and clear on the need for such an amendment, and the time has come for the rest of New Mexico’s congressional delegation to listen to our voices and go on record in support.”
“The Citizens United decision did a huge disservice to the American people’s right to know who is trying to sway their vote,” Bennett said. “A campaign finance structure that increases transparency will help restore confidence in our democracy. This amendment gets to the heart of that effort.”
There are 13 original co-sponsors of the legislation, all Democrats except Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with Democrats.
The Weekly Word spoke to James Bopp last year. Bopp was behind the lawsuit that ended up with the U.S. Supreme Court gutting campaign finance laws.