November 23, 2010: By a double-digit margin, voters want Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United that allows unlimited corporate spending on elections, a new poll paid for by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has found.
Nearly a fifth of voters remain undecided on an issue that has only been live since the Supreme Court overturned a century of legislation and precedent in a 5-4 ruling whose effect was visible to anybody with a television through the months of September and October. Of those who have an opinion, 46 percent said that "Congress should consider drastic measures such as a constitutional amendment overturning the recent Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections," while 36 percent disagreed. The survey, which was provided to The Huffington Post, was conducted by the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling on November second and third and reached 548 voters.
A Constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress and must be ratified by three-quarters of the states. But, said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.), the author of an amendment that would overturn Citizens United, there have been times in American history when amendments have caught fire and ripped right through the land. "The process is very rigorous, and it should be," Edwards told HuffPost. "But there have been plenty of examples of amendments to the Constitution that have happened, actually, with fairly rapid-fire when they catch on."
Edwards, an attorney, said she wrote the simple text of her amendment the night that Citizens United was handed down. "I really concluded that the Supreme Court actually put the challenge out to us, here in the Congress. They said, you know, you could make a judgment that this is not really good for the system, but the fact is that the Constitution doesn't allow you to regulate this. Congress, you have no– the Court told us directly– Congress, you have no authority to regulate. And when the Court says that so directly, it only leaves us one choice," said Edwards.