Supreme Court just crippled democracy

Jay Owen SRI/ESG News

Update from Public Citizen


Moments ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

Sadly, alarmingly, infuriatingly — it’s Citizens United all over again.

I’ll explain a bit more below, but first I need you to do THREE things:

1. Voice your outrage that the Supreme Court has sold out our democracy. Again.

Add your name to our petition for a constitutional amendment to overturn McCutcheonalong with Citizens United.

2. Join one of the rapid response events happening nationwide today to demonstrate a collective outcry over this latest affront to our country’s democratic ideals.

Find out what’s happening near you and attend an event today to protest McCutcheon andCitizens United.

3. Forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

Our only hope of overturning Citizens United and now McCutcheon is if millions of Americans band together in saying “Enough!” to plutocracy.

In a nutshell, the Supreme Court just permitted individuals — those who can afford to do so, at any rate — to dole out up to $5.9 million per election cycle to political candidates and parties.

Until today, the limit was $123,000.

So Citizens United allowed Big Business to spend literally as much as it wants — predominantly in undisclosed contributions filtered through the likes of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — distorting our elections. And it allowed billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson to funnel unlimited sums through super PACs and other “dark money” conduits.

Now McCutcheon removes meaningful restraints on direct giving to candidates. After today, really wealthy people can write a single check for almost $6 million to party leaders — who will in turn filter the funds to candidates and committees — to elect people who will do their bidding.

Yes, you and I now have this “right” too.

But do you have $6 million lying around?

There are literally only a few hundred people who can and will take advantage of this horrendous ruling. But those are exactly the people our elected officials will now be answering to.

That is not democracy.

It is plutocracy.

But no matter what five Supreme Court justices say, the First Amendment was never intended to provide a giant megaphone for the wealthiest to use to shout down the rest of us.

This is the time for everyone who cares about the fate of our country to mobilize.

We couldn’t face a starker choice:

Accept rule by the few, based on wealth. Or join together to protect and reclaim our democracy — the notion that We the People decide.

We have to get to work RIGHT NOW:

1. Sign our amendment petition to overturn this latest Supreme Court disaster.

2. Participate in the rapid response happening across the country today.

3. Forward this email to everyone you know who cares about the future of our democracy.

And stay tuned. I’ll have more, a lot more, in the days and weeks ahead.

thumbnail photograph of Public Citizen president Robert WeissmanOnward,
Robert Weissman's signature
Robert Weissman
President, Public Citizen

© 2014 public citizen • 1600 20th Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20009