The Washington Post reported some great news for progressives today. Hillary Clinton announced today that, if elected, she will support a constitutional amendment to overturn the controversial Citizens United decision that loosened campaign finance regulations back in 2010.
In a video slated to run near the end of today’s final keynote sessions, the presumptive Democratic nominee spoke about her new position on the Supreme Court decision.
‘I will also appoint Supreme Court justices who understand that this decision was a disaster for our democracy. I will fight for other progressive reforms, including small-dollar matching and disclosure requirements. I hope some of the brilliant minds in this room will seek out cases to challenge Citizens United in the courts.’
She told press in a statement that accompanied this announcement that she will also be an advocate for new SEC rules that would require publicly-traded companies to disclose all political donations to their shareholders. Clinton also said she would sign an executive order that would force federal contractors to disclose all political donations. This move alone could do wonders to repair cronyism and corruption by making government contracts much more transparent.
The Clinton campaign previewed the announcement to glowing reviews from progressive groups. Marissa Barrow, spokesperson for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, had this to say:
‘Hillary Clinton’s commitment to overturning Citizens United, and her other systemic proposals like public financing of congressional elections, are key to improving our chances of victory on every other issue.’
The Citizen’s United decision has become a powerful symbol of the many decisions made by the Supreme Court that have weakened regulations on campaign finance. Democrat-led coalitions have repeatedly tried to pass measures to force cash disclosures, as well as an amendment to overturn the decision. Such efforts have been unsuccessful in the face of resistance by the GOP, who have characterized them as attacks on free speech.
Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, has put overturning the decision at the top of his to-do list, and has hardly finished a speech without mentioning it. The Vermont senator has also made railing against the Supreme Court decision a fixture on his Twitter account.
Today is the sixth-year anniversary of Citizens United, one of the most disastrous Supreme Court decisions in my lifetime.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 21, 2016
Any Supreme Court nominee of mine will make overturning Citizens United one of their first decisions.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 22, 2016
We must overturn Citizens United if we are serious about maintaining the foundations of American democracy.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 20, 2016
We need to overturn Citizens United and move toward public funding of elections. pic.twitter.com/Rics4PoaCd
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 9, 2015
Though she hasn’t been as vocal about it, getting rid of Citizens United has been high on Clinton’s list of goals for over a year. Playing up her opposition to it may be critical to winning over the large portion of Americans (especially young people) who are disappointed that Bernie won’t have his shot. In a cagey move towards the end of the video announcing her intentions, Clinton appealed to her former opponent’s supporters.
‘I know that many of the people in this room supported Sen. Sanders in the primary. I’m looking forward to hearing from you, learning from you, and working with you.’