Liberals and conservatives overwhelmingly support a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the Supreme Court’s seminal campaign finance decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, according to a new study from the University of Maryland and nonpartisan research group Voice of the People.
Three-fourths of survey respondents — including 66 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats — back a constitutional amendment outlawing Citizens United.
The study also indicates that most Americans — 88 percent overall — want to reduce the influence large campaign donors wield over lawmakers at a time when a single congressional election may cost tens of millions of dollars.
That most Republican and Democratic voters want to amend the Constitution to limit big money’s role in politics is notable because it’s the “most drastic step that can be taken,” said Steven Kull, director of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy's Program for Public Consultation, which conducted the study.
The 2010 Citizens United decision specifically allowed corporations, unions and certain nonprofits to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for and against political candidates. It also gave rise to super PACs — lightly regulated political committees that have become major weapons in both state and federal politics.
Candidates and political parties, meanwhile, may by law only accept limited contributions.