Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three California legislators introduce Constitutional Convention resolution to tackle Citizens United

Three California Assembly members have introduced a Joint Resolution in that state calling for a Constitutional Convention in order to nullify the Citizens United decision.

Assemblyman Michael Allen (D-Sonoma County), Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), and Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) filed Assembly Joint Resolution 32, which bypasses Congress's role in ratifying amendments. The resolution calls for an amendment that limits corporate free speech rights and allows government to regulate campaign finance.AJR 32 calls for a convention that would be limited to consideration of the Citizens United decision. You can read the text here.

“I figured rather than just condemning the decision with a symbolic resolution, why not start the process to actually amend the Constitution?” said Assemblyman Gatto in a press release. “Voters are fed up with the notion that money is speech and that big money can drown out the speech of average citizens.”

To pass in California, AJR 32 requires consideration and adoption by the State Assembly and Senate. Upon approval, a copy of the Resolution will be delivered to the presiding officers of several state legislatures for consideration and to federal officials. The state-initiated process has been tried before, and has fallen short of success by one or two states a few times, with the earliest being in 1893 and the most recent being 1939.

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