Democrats are looking to mute the effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is thinking about going for an ultimate fix – an amendment to the Constitution. It would clarify that free speech is a right of citizens, not corporations.
While participating in a hearing, Kerry said, “We need a constitutional amendment to make it clear once and for all that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals,” according to a Boston Globe report.
Other legislative fixes have been bandied about, such as restricting political expenditures of companies held entirely or in part in other nations, or of those doing business with the federal government, among other things.
The amendment route would address an underlying constitutional issue, but would face a long and tortuous road to actually becoming part of the Constitution. For starters, it would require 67% approval by both houses of Congress, and would then have to be ratified by 75% of the states.
RBR-TVBR observation: Holding a few hearings on an amendment may serve to publicize the issue and perhaps influence public opinion to some extent, but we believe the odds of an actual amendment of this type ever being added to the Constitution any time soon are microscopic.