Wisconsin Assemblywoman Introduces Bill to Overturn Citizens United

“The Supreme Court effectively sold our democracy to the highest bidder.”

Posted: January 21, 2015
Updated: February 16, 2015

Photo by Scott Foval

Madison - At a press conference in the Madison Capitol today, Wisconsin Assemblywoman Lisa Subeck announced that she was introducing a bill that would give Wisconsin citizens the chance to weigh in on the question of whether to amend the U.S. Constitution to get money out of politics.

Today is the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s notorious Citizens United decision that said corporations are persons, and money is speech, and as long as corporations or unions or other associations aren’t coordinating with their favored candidates, they can spend as much money as they want to influence the outcome of the election.

“This is not a happy anniversary, as we commemorate the day five years ago that the Supreme Court of the United States opened the floodgates to unlimited spending on our elections by wealthy special interests and corporations,” said Rep. Subeck, who represents the 78 th Assembly District. “Through this ruling, the Supreme Court effectively sold our democracy to the highest bidder.” She said that the decision had the effect of “drowning out the voices of hardworking middle class families, small businesspeople, farmers, low-wage workers, and so many other everyday people in our state.”

She added: “The resolution I am introducing today, together with Senator Dave Hansen and 21 co-sponsors in the State Assembly, is an important first step toward overturning Citizens United.

Here is the wording of Assembly Joint Resolution 8/ Senate Joint Resolution 12:

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United and related cases allow unlimited spending to influence local, state, and federal elections. To allow all Americans to have an equal say in our democracy, shall Wisconsin’s congressional delegation support, and the Wisconsin legislature ratify, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating:

  1. Only human beings—not corporations, unions, nonprofit organizations, or similar associations—are endowed with constitutional rights, and

  2. Money is not speech, and therefore limiting political contributions and spending is not equivalent to restricting political speech.”

The press conference was called by the Money Out, Voters In-Wisconsin coalition, of which the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is a part.