Today, Vermont became the first state to pass legislation calling for a Constitutional Convention to change our the country’s campaign finance laws. 33 states would have to join them to overturn Citizen’s United, but there are groups all across the nation working with local state legislatures to work towards this goal.
The focus of the effort is on Citizens United, although the most recent case of the Supreme Court selling out the United States of America, McCutcheon, is also in the sights of reform. Given both of these are Supreme Court rulings, there’s only a two avenues of reform left for the American people: a Congressional amendment, which is unlikely given the current state of the government, or a congressional convention, which is formed by 34 states.
State Senator Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden) sponsored the resolution and has been leading the charge for reform since March, when it passed the Vermont State Senate 25-2. When the legislation passed, Lyons said:
[box type=”shadow”]We’re sending a strong message to our Congress and to other states that we would like to see changes to overturn the Citizens United decision. It’s upsetting the balance of our electoral process. It’s our generation’s greatest responsibility to restore free elections.[/box]
Today, as a response to the vote, Lyons continued the theme by saying “The fact is that because of the Citizen’s United decision, because of McCutcheon, and other Supreme Court decisions, there’s really no other way to resolve this problem.”
She acknowledges that a state convention has never happened before, but these are desperate times for our democracy. And desperate times call for desperate measures. This is a major turning point for our country, hopefully setting us on the road to reform.
You can watch a May 2013 NECN.com report on the Vermont bill: