Citizens United remains a controversial decision, but contrary to popular belief, it was not as earth-shattering as many people seem to think it was. The Supreme Court’s first mention of corporations having the same rights as people occurs in 1876. It is a footnote to a larger decision. As any law student knows, corporations are a fictitious person. Treating them as a fictitious person allows them to own property, to own equipment, and to be sued. However, the problem with the Citizens United decision was that it expanded this doctrine to extremes. The logic was further continued with the Hobby Lobby decision, which granted religious exceptions for corporations under US law.
End Citizens United is an activist group that works to end this special exemption for corporations and to help get big money out of politics. Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders warned his supporters that the United States had become an oligarchy, a claim, which ironically, Donald Trump backed up with some of his campaign accusations. Although the election has ended, Citizens United has not given up their fight.
Well-known congressman Elizabeth Warren agrees with the groups goals, and brought the decision up during a leading with democratic leaders, according to Boston.com. She warned that she and others are working to overturn the decision, but she described the political work required as a heavy lift.
According to Warren, congress needs to pass a constitutional amendment separating the rights of a corporation from the rights of a living citizen. She pointed out that even with the support of all the Democratic senators and representatives, the bill is likely to die in committee with the current congress.
Warren brought up the End Citizens United decision almost as an afterthought. The topic of discussion was continued planning under the current administration. The primary focus of the democratic leaders is continuing to resist the extreme elements of the current president’s agenda and how to win back seats in the house. The senators name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate, but she cannot gather the necessary to win in the primary election season.