LED BY MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL MARTHA COAKLEY,
A COALITION OF 11 ATTORNEYS GENERAL SUBMIT LETTER OF SUPPORT TO THE US CONGRESS
“An Important New Milestone in the Movement to Reclaim Our Democracy”
BOSTON, MA – Free Speech For People, a national campaign pressing for a constitutional amendment to overturn the US Supreme Court’s January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, today praised the issuance of a letter to the US Congress by eleven state attorneys general joining in support of such an amendment. The letter, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, cites the ever-growing concern with unlimited corporate campaign spending which has resulted from the ruling. The Supreme Court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision swept away a century of precedent barring corporate money in elections.
“This letter marks an important new milestone in the movement to reclaim our democracy,” says John Bonifaz, the co-founder and executive director of Free Speech For People. “Free Speech For People is proud to have worked with Attorney General Martha Coakley and other leaders in building new critical support for a constitutional amendment that protects our elections and the promise of government of, for, and by the people.”
In October 2010, Free Speech For People authored a letter, signed by more than 50 prominent constitutional law professors and former government attorneys, including seven former state attorneys general, that urged Congress to consider a constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United ruling. The organization has successfully led efforts to pass resolutions at the state and local level calling for an amendment, including the recent passage of a resolution by the New Mexico legislature, making New Mexico the second state in the country, after Hawaii, to officially call for an amendment. The organization has also initiated a similar effort in Massachusetts with a resolution that is now pending in the state legislature there and, last December, it enlisted the support of Attorney General Coakley as the first sitting attorney general in the country to join the call for an amendment.
“The passage of an amendment,” today’s letter from the state attorneys general states, “would give Congress the power to put the electoral process back where it belongs: in the hands of the people, not corporations.”
“When the history is written on this amendment movement, it will record that these eleven state attorneys general stood up early to defend our democracy and to ensure that people, not corporations, govern in America,” says Jeff Clements, Free Speech For People’s co-founder and general counsel and the author of Corporations Are Not People. Clements, a former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, added: “We are proud to stand with them and the millions of people across this nation who want our democracy back.”
In addition to Attorney General Coakley, the signatories to the letter include: Joseph R. Biden III, Attorney General of Delaware; David M. Louie, Attorney General of Hawaii; Jack Conway, Attorney General of Kentucky; Jim Hood, Attorney General of Mississippi; Steve Bullock, Attorney General of Montana; Gary King, Attorney General of New Mexico; Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York; Peter F. Kilmartin, Attorney General of Rhode Island; William Sorrell, Attorney General of Vermont; and Darrell McGraw, Attorney General of West Virginia.
A full copy of the letter can be found here
Click here to download the press release.