Good news from our friends in the north: the Vermont Senate has approved a resolution which would amend the U.S. Constitution and reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. That decision helped pave the way for Big Money to have an even larger impact on U.S. elections, essentially by ruling that corporations have a constitutional right to free speech in spending unlimited amounts on campaigns.
Vermont joins cities and states across the country in passing the resolution. Earlier this year, in fact, 64 Vermont towns passed similar declarations in town halls calling on Congress to pass the constitutional amendment.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the resolution passed by the Senate (which heads next to the state House) asks Congress to consider an amendment “that provides that money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution and that also affirms the constitutional rights of natural persons.”
The resolution is a result of the hard work of good government groups including Public Citizen, Move to Amend, and local organizations. Public Citizen, in a press release last week, hailed the efforts of legislators including state Sen. Ginny Lyons (D-Williston) who shepherded the resolution to the Senate.
“The passage of the resolution is just one step toward a U.S. constitutional amendment declaring that the rights of natural persons are protected under the Constitution, not corporations, and that money is not speech,” said Lyons, the resolution’s champion. “Vermonters are proud to send this collective message to Congress from towns across the state and from the Vermont Senate.”
The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a resolution to the U.S. Constitution aimed at reversing the U.S Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision of 2010.