For Immediate Release
National Coalition to Amend Constitution Supports the Overturn Citizens United Act
MOVE TO AMEND STATEMENT ON OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED ACT
National Democracy Coalition Calls for Governor Brown to Sign SB 254
SACRAMENTO - The California Senate passed The Overturn Citizens United Act (SB 254) on Friday in a 26-to-11 vote. Democracy advocates from several local and national organizations including Money Out Voters In, Free Speech For People, and Move to Amend are calling for Governor Jerry Brown's signature.
Move to Amend and other supporters of SB 254 were present in the Senate gallery as Senator Ben Allen, the bill’s lead author, urged his colleagues to send the measure to the ballot. "Citizens United is but one of the many U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have made effective campaign finance reform more difficult,” said Senator Allen. “At the core of these decisions is the belief that spending money in an election is a protected form of free speech and those rights extend not only to human beings but to other entities as well, including corporations. I believe most Californians do not share that sentiment and we should give them the opportunity to make their collective voices heard."
Move to Amend national director, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, praised to bill’s passage, stating: “We applaud the California legislature for taking action to restore this measure to the ballot. The Court's removal of Proposition 49 at the request of a non-profit entity is a stark example to the power of corporations to use constitutional rights to override the democratic process and silence the voices of real people. We call on Governor Brown to sign SB 254 into law, and call on Californians to make clear for their representatives that corporations are not people and money is not protected speech.”
SB 254 would place a voter instruction on the November ballot that would ask Californians if their representatives should “use all of their constitutional authority…to overturn Citizens United v. FEC and other applicable judicial precedents.” Californians were poised to vote on a similar measure in 2014 known as Proposition 49 before the California Supreme Court removed it from the ballot over questions to its legitimacy, an unprecedented move in the state's history of ballot measures. Following the vote, supporters of SB 254 submitted to the Governor’s office a letter asking Governor Brown to sign the bill into law.
Move to Amend is a rapidly growing national grassroots coalition of nearly 400,000 individuals and thousands of organizations working to pass a constitutional amendment to make clear that Constitutional rights belong to human beings and political spending is not protected speech under the First Amendment. Their We the People Amendment was introduced in the US House of Representatives on April 29, 2015 as House Joint Resolution 48 by Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN).