Hillary Clinton greets supporters at a rally in Seattle
Hillary Clinton greets supporters at a rally in Seattle (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

In a video address to Net­roots Nation 2016, played dur­ing tonight’s clos­ing ple­nary ses­sion in St. Louis, pre­sump­tive Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee Hillary Clin­ton com­mit­ted to intro­duc­ing a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to over­turn the Roberts Court’s hor­ri­ble Cit­i­zens Unit­ed rul­ing with­in her first one hun­dred days in office.

“Today I’m announc­ing that in my first thir­ty days as Pres­i­dent, I will pro­pose a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to over­turn Cit­i­zens Unit­ed and give the Amer­i­can peo­ple — all of us — the chance to reclaim our democ­ra­cy,” Clin­ton said, draw­ing loud applause and cheers from the con­ven­tion hall.

The video mes­sage, pre­pared by Clin­ton’s cam­paign and nar­rat­ed entire­ly by Clin­ton, lav­ished praise on Bernie Sanders, the favored Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of most Net­roots Nation atten­dees. It depict­ed scenes of Sanders cam­paign­ing by him­self as well as with Clin­ton, as Clin­ton paid trib­ute to the ded­i­ca­tion and tire­less efforts of Sanders supporters.

Clin­ton also used her address to briefly talk about the need to erad­i­cate sys­temic racism from the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, in a nod to the pre­dom­i­nant theme of this year’s gath­er­ing of Net­roots Nation. Her cam­paign has already announced that many moth­ers of inno­cent black peo­ple killed by police will be fea­tured speak­ers at the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion lat­er this month.

Here is a tran­script of Clin­ton’s remarks:

Hel­lo Net­roots Nation! Thanks for putting pro­gres­sive issues front and cen­ter in this elec­tion and every elec­tion for more than a decade, and thanks to for shin­ing a spot­light on the urgent press­ing chal­lenge of crim­i­nal jus­tice reform.

It’s been near­ly two years since Michael Brown was killed in Fer­gu­son. With the help of activists includ­ing those in the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment our coun­try is tru­ly engaged in a dif­fi­cult but crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion about sys­temic racism and injus­tice but now we need to turn talked into action.

Last week’s tragedies only under­score the urgency of end-to-end crim­i­nal jus­tice reform and stop­ping the tragedy of black men and women and black chil­dren being killed by police or dying in cus­tody. I’ve laid out a com­pre­hen­sive reform agen­da; now I’m propos­ing two addi­tion­al steps.

First, as Pres­i­dent, I’ll bring law enforce­ment and com­mu­ni­ties togeth­er to devel­op nation­al guide­lines on the use of force.

Sec­ond, I will tar­get one bil­lion dol­lars in my first bud­get to take on implic­it bias which remains a prob­lem across our soci­ety and even in the best of our police departments.

I’m proud that for the first time the Demo­c­ra­t­ic plat­form address­es these issues in a com­pre­hen­sive way, and that we have devel­oped the most pro­gres­sive plat­form in our Par­ty’s history.

Now, I know many of the peo­ple in this room sup­port­ed Sen­a­tor Sanders in the pri­ma­ry. I’m look­ing for­ward to hear­ing from you, learn­ing from you and work­ing with you.

You’ve helped put polit­i­cal and cam­paign finance reform at the top of the nation­al agen­da, and I intend to keep it there.

Today I’m announc­ing that in my first thir­ty days as Pres­i­dent I will pro­pose a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to over­turn Cit­i­zens Unit­ed and give the Amer­i­can peo­ple — all of us — the chance to reclaim our democracy.

I will also appoint Supreme Court jus­tices who under­stand that this deci­sion was a dis­as­ter for our democ­ra­cy, and I will fight for oth­er pro­gres­sive reforms includ­ing small dol­lar match­ing and dis­clo­sure requirements.

I hope some of the bril­liant minds in this room will seek out cas­es to chal­lenge cit­i­zens unit­ed in the courts because I know I can’t do this alone. We need you to keep speak­ing out keep orga­niz­ing and keep hold­ing elect­ed offi­cials — includ­ing me — accountable.

We know what hap­pens when pro­gres­sive voic­es get drowned out by the oth­er side, and we can­not let that hap­pen, so I’m look­ing for­ward to fight­ing along­side you and with Sen­a­tor Sanders in the weeks months and years to come because you know what we are stronger togeth­er. Thank you all very much.

This is great news. Our thanks to Hillary Clin­ton for com­mit­ting to explic­it­ly offer a con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment to stop the flood of big mon­ey in elec­tions unleashed by the most dis­as­trous deci­sion of the Roberts Court.

How­ev­er, we do need more than an amend­ment that mere­ly revers­es that deci­sion. We need an amend­ment that states that cor­po­ra­tions are not peo­ple and mon­ey is not speech. There are oth­er Supreme Court deci­sions that also need to be over­turned, so that our democ­ra­cy can endure.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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2 replies on “Hillary Clinton commits to introducing amendment to overturn Citizens United”

  1. This is point­less polit­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da since it will nev­er get two-thirds vote in Con­gress. If we are seri­ous about amend­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion, we must first reform the amend­ment process itself so that it is no longer the most dif­fi­cult in the world. See http://www.amendmentamendment.com

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