June 8, 2012

20,000 United Republic Members Petition Supreme Court To Overturn Citizens United

Last month, “Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand a decision by the Montana Supreme Court, American Tradition Partnership vs. Bullock, upholding the state’s ban on outside election spending by corporations. The anti-environmental group American Tradition Partnership contends that Montana’s law conflicts directly with the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.”

We asked United Republic members to petition the court to overturn the Citizens United decision and stand with the American people, not Big Money. Over 20,000 members signed our petition of support, and we received 1,700 comments from Americans of every political stripe in support of McCain and Whitehouse’s effort.

Yesterday, we delivered these petitions and comments to the Supreme Court:


  • Moreso, make all donations revealed. Accountability, responsibility, make the cowardly snakes show themselves.

  • DeliaStclaire

    Lets get this ridiculous law of citizens united overturned. It is the worst law I have ever had the misfortune to have to deal with. First and foremost, it is extremely unfair and I feel it is criminal as well! I have signed a petition to have this stupid law overturned. Let us get as many signatures as it takes to get rid of it.

  • Yogiobear

    Roberts and company knew exactly what they were doing. You can’t tell me they didn’t know about this very same law in Montana that has been in effect for over a century and why they made that law. These guys are criminals. They are just as bad as that psychopath Rove.

  • Jack Doheny

    The Supremes should overturn the Citizens United where it is the worst thing that could have been done to our political process. It is utterly ridiculous to think that because of this ruling it will take billions to run in the Presidential Election. This is an abomination of our system and it shows how out of touch the Supremes are to the American people. President Obama was right in his statement during his speech to the nation calling out the mistake the Supremes made in passing it!

  • Don’t we have to confront the argument that makes Citizens United “Constitutional?” George Will talks about it and even Eliot Spitzer believes it. Somehow James Bopp nailed a “legal” argument. What is the constitutional argument that derails James Bopp, his donors, and his cronies? Obviously, the idea that organizations have the same free speech rights as individuals is both compelling and wrong at the same time. This is an abridgment of democratic principles and an open door to bribery in government compounding the problem of corruption. Are we now like Rome in its decline? There has to be a public explanation of why this is wrong, more than just saying, “This is wrong.” If there is a supposed constitutional reason for the decision, there has to be an equal and opposite reason for rejecting it. Otherwise, the Supreme Court is nothing but a court of corporate opinion. Corporations win, we lose. We get a plutocratic government (or whatever will be left of it).

    • Preston Law

      I think possibly the simplest argument is that all people should have the potential to engage in identical amounts of free speech. This could possibly be argued from definitions of free speech.

      Therefore, corporations and other such organizations are not people because those organizations, without exception, can engage in more free speech than other individuals can.

      Also, limits on monetary spending should be supported, because if such limits are not supported, then the wealthier individuals of society can individually engage in more free speech than the poorer individuals of society can.


  • Beth1506

    I think we need more than 20,000 signatures…

  • CatKinNY

    I signed the petition, but in reality, it should not have any effect upon the court. Had one conducted a nation wide plebiscite on Brown v the Board of Education in 1954, there is little doubt that it would have been overturned. As Alan noted below, a countervailing argument must be found. The Constitution mentions the confidence of the electorate in a republican government in several places, an argument brought up by the losing side in Citizens United. It is possible that in the intervening years since the decision, some of the Justices have had second thoughts, in light of how roundly the electorate of all political stripes has stated that the decision undermines their confidence in government. We can hope so, at least.

    More likely than a complete overhaul with limits placed on the amount of ‘speech’ to which any entity was entitled, in my opinion, would be the bar to anonymous speech. If immediate full disclosure were neccessary, that would largely solve the problem. Let anyone put up any ads they want to, so long as they own them. Oppo research would have boycott campaigns up and running within 24 hours against corporations that contributed to the kind of false negative ads that are the real problem.

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