Why Citizens United Just Scratches the Surface

Hillary Clinton told supporters on Thursday that if elected she will appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Citizens United, according to a Washington Post report. This is good news for our democracy—but the Court’s role in helping wealthy interests dominate politics goes far deeper than one bad case. 

In fact, justices appointed by the next president—whoever that is—should look to transform the Supreme Court’s entire approach to money in politics going back to cases starting in the 1970s, just as the Court has reversed course on New Deal economic protections, racial segregation, LGBT rights, and more.      

Secretary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders—who last week outlined a similar requirement for future justices—should be applauded for recognizing the damage Citizens United has done, even as they campaign in the broken system the Roberts Court has created. Our democracy has descended into a shouting match between billionaires and corporate interests, who have more tools than ever to drown out the rest of our voices.

But the reality is that Citizens United merely added fuel to an already blazing fire—and returning to the “glory days” before the decision will not create an America where we all have an equal say over the government decisions that affect our lives.

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