kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)August 30, 2012

Obama online chat yesterday.... here's the interesting bit.

"During the chat, Obama said the country might need to consider amending the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in the 2010 "Citizens United" case that allowed outside groups known as Super PACs to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.

"Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it)," he wrote. "Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight on the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.""

"The Country"... is that us? Is that him? Who is going to put forth legislation that attempts to amend the constitution to rid us of the "Citizens United" fallout?

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david52 Zone 6

Colorado will likely have a ballot question on this - if the signatures hold up. I think its that the donors have to identify themselves - countered, of course, by the Republicans who state that when their names are given, they get threatening correspondence.

Which has never been much of a problem yet in 200 years, but I guess now, it suddenly is. So secret political money for personal safety.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:35PM
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Aren't Al Franken and Sherrod Brown starting petitions for the overturn of CU?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:37PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Move to Amend is the organization that's been receiving notice in my area.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:43PM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

More from the transcript...

"Suzmerk: What are you going to do to end the corrupting influence of money in politics during your second term?

Obama: Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:30PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

It isn't that easy to amend the Constitution or to force a reversal of a Supreme Court decision. The following is one site of many that gives the method of amending the Constitution. I use it because it is the easiest to read.

"Recognizing that future eras would face different sets of issues, challenges, and priorities, the Founding Fathers created an amendment process by which the Constitution could be altered. Article V of the Constitution grants this right, stating:

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid, to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress. [1]

Two ways to amend the Constitution

The founders offered two mechanisms for changing the Constitution. The first is for the proposed bill to pass both halves of the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it then goes to the states. While the Constitution does not impose a time limit on states for which to consider the amendment, Congress frequently includes one (typically seven years). In order to become an amendment, the bill must receive the approval of three-fourths of the states (38 states). This approval can be generated through either a state convention or a vote of the state legislature. In either case, a majority vote is necessary for passage. Often, the proposed amendment specifies the route which is necessary.

The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the state legislatures (34 states), and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. As of July 2006, this method has never been used. [2]

Role of the executive

Unlike the process by which a law is passed, the executive branch (the president) plays no official role in the amendment process. Presidents may call upon Congress to consider an amendment, but these requests carry no force of law.

Amendment process in practice

Because any amendment can be blocked by only thirteen states withholding approval (in either of their two houses), amendments are difficult to pass. In over two-hundred years since the ratification of the Constitution, over 10,000 amendments have been proposed, while only 27 have been added. The first ten of these (The Bill of Rights) secured passage almost immediately. The very difficulty of amending the Constitution greatly increases the importance of Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution, because reversal of the Court's decision by amendment is difficult to obtain. [3]

"Proposed constitutional amendments

Federal Marriage Amendment
Flag burning amendment"

The process was not ever intended to be easy.

This is how a ruling of the Supreme Court must be reversed. Another example of the easiest to read and understand.

"No single entity - not the President, Senate, House of Representatives, state Governors, nor anyone else - has the power to overturn a US Supreme Court ruling. Supreme Court decisions cannot be nullified by other parts of government. However, if the Supreme Court strikes down a federal law, Congress can always modify the law until it is such that the Supreme Court does not consider it to violate the Constitution, then pass it again.

Supreme Court decisions can only be overturned in two ways:

Legitimate Methods

The US Supreme Court reverses a decision on an earlier case by making a contradictory decision on a current case.

Congress and the States can overturn a decision by amending the Constitution.

Illegitimate Methods (Passive Resistance)

Sometimes the Executive Branch obstructs or fails to enforce a decision.

Sometimes Congress rewrites legislation to bring it into compliance with constitutional guidelines.

Sometimes Congress strips the Supreme Court of its appellate jurisdiction over certain types of cases to deprive them of the ability to overturn a law or policy.

Sometimes states pass laws that clearly violate Supreme Court decisions, forcing someone with standing to challenge the new law's constitutionality. Meanwhile, the law can be enforced even if violates established civil rights. State legislatures do this with the hope of overturning, or slipping around, precedents set by earlier Courts.


Once again it may be possible but isn't likely to be of benefit to the original protesters.

In real life, there must be an action of a lower court and an appeal of that decision before the issue can come before the Supreme Court again. It would take years and a lot of new Justices willing to go against the previous decision. It has been done but again the writers of the Constitution did not want the process to be easy or be subject to the passing whims of the populace.

Pres.Obama was playing to his base.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:36PM
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Sleepless, and what about the plank in the GOP platform that states they are committed to a Constitutional amendment defining life from the moment of conception......playing to the base?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:48PM
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"drown out the voices of ordinary citizens."

I think this happened some time ago, I would date it to round about when Tom, Dick, and Harry were no longer allowed to wander into the president's house for a chat, give or take a few decades.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:08PM
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