Most Americans share similar views about how to get big money out of politics. Polling released in 2018 showed that 66 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of independents, and 85 percent of Democrats support a constitutional amendment. But since we haven’t amended the Constitution since 1992, the idea sounds like an impossibility to many. Of course, passing an amendment is inherently difficult—requiring support from two thirds of Congress and three quarters of states. Yet we are already closer to the goal than most people know.
In fact, an amendment has more momentum in Congress than many other widely discussed policy proposals. With a focused bipartisan campaign, activists could push one across the finish line in less than a decade.
Consider where things stand today. 47 sitting Senators have already expressed support for an amendment, compared to just 15 who have signed on to Medicare For All. More than 200 House members back it too, compared to only 21 who have signed on to the Free College For All Act. Additionally, 20 states have already expressed their support for an amendment through legislation or a ballot initiative, including “red states” like Montana and West Virginia. All told, that’s more than half that is needed. Plus, when those two states agree with California and Oregon, you know this is an issue than can transcend partisanship.
But ten years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, which allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, we are still waiting. That’s primarily because...continue reading