Massachusetts Votes to Reverse Citizens United and Get Big Money Out of Politics

Massachusetts becomes fifth state where voters formally call for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

Voters in Massachusetts overwhelmingly supported [ballot measure 2](https://ballotpedia.org/Massachusetts_Question_2,_Advisory_Commission_for_Amendments_to_the_U.S.Constitution_Regarding_Corporate_Personhood_and_Political_Spending_Initiative(2018%29), which calls for the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC to be overturned with a constitutional amendment. The campaign, called People Govern Not Money, was a volunteer effort backed by American Promise.

Massachusetts joins four other states where voters have specifically instructed their representatives to pass constitutional amendments that would allow for meaningful limits on big money in politics.

In 2012, Montana voters charged all their elected officials to "advance the philosophy that corporations are not human beings with constitutional rights and that each such elected and appointed official is charged to act to prohibit, whenever possible, corporations from making contributions to or expenditures on the campaigns of candidates or ballot issues."

Also in 2012, Colorado voters instructed their members of Congress to support "an amendment to the United States Constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, can express their views to one another and their government on a level playing field."

In 2016, Washington state voters urged their "congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment clarifying that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations; that spending money is not free speech under the First Amendment; that governments are fully empowered to regulate political contributions and expenditures to prevent undue influence; and that political contributions and expenditures must be promptly disclosed to the public."

California voters approved Proposition 59 in 2016, which told California elected officials to "use all of their constitutional authority, including, but not limited to, proposing and ratifying one or more amendments to the United States Constitution, to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) 558 U.S. 310, and other applicable judicial precedents, to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another, and to make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.”

Not every member of Congress has followed the instructions of their constituents, and these measures lacked any provision to inform voters as to how their elected representatives acted.

The Massachusetts measure establishes a 15 member volunteer commission to " advance the policy of Massachusetts in favor of amending the Constitution of the United States (i) to affirm that artificial entities do not possess the inalienable Constitutional rights of the People, and (ii) in order to eliminate the undue influence of concentrated money on elections and on government policy, campaign contributions and spending may be regulated and limited."

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