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Coalition Calls for Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Decision Allowing Unlimited Election Spending

 Part of the reason for the record-high campaign spending in this year's midterm elections is the Supreme Court's January ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled corporations have First Amendment rights and that the government cannot impose restrictions on their political speech, which cleared the way for corporations and other special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. Earlier this month, a group of more than fifty law professors and prominent attorneys issued a letter calling on Congress to consider a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision. We speak with two people involved with Free Speech for People, a coalition of public interest organizations that formed after the Citizens United ruling.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Part of the reason for the record-high campaign spending in this year's midterm elections is the Supreme Court's ruling in January in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The Court's decision cleared the way for corporations, unions and other interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money to elect and defeat candidates.

In a five-to-four decision, the Court ruled corporations have First Amendment rights and that the government cannot impose restrictions on their political speech. The ruling has come under heavy criticism, including from President Obama, who openly criticized the Court's decision in his State of the Union address.

AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this month, a group of more than fifty law professors and prominent attorneys, including seven former state attorneys general, issued a letter calling on Congress to consider a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision. The letter says the Citizens United ruling, quote, "was not only wrongly decided but presents a serious danger to effective self-government of, for and by the American people, a danger which must be addressed."