One of the largest states in the nation took an official stand Thursday against the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which ruled that government restriction of corporation or union spending on political campaigns violated the First Amendment right to free speech. California joins Hawaii, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland and New Mexico in calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling. State assembly members Bob Wieckowski (D-Calif.) and Michael Allen (D-Calif.) introduced the campaign finance reform bill in January, calling for the federal government to send a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United to all the states for ratification. The measure also would serve as an official symbol of California’s disagreement with the ruling.
In an email to The Huffington Post, Wieckowski emphasized California’s status as a trendsetter in the fight for campaign finance reform. “A lot of national movements and trends start in California,” wrote Wieckowski. “We have the largest population, the most congressional representatives and the largest economy in the country. It was critical for California to take a stand.”
The last constitutional amendment was ratified in 1992. When asked about the quixotic nature of his resolution, Wieckowski agreed that the fight for campaign finance reform was a challenge. “No one is underestimating how difficult it is, and justifiably so, to amend the Constitution,” said Wieckowski. “But being silent is worse. Failing to speak out, to organize, to hold rallies and to take action would be much worse. That’s how you bring about change in this country. By going to city hall, the state Capitol and making your voice heard and shining a light on the issue.”