In what amounts to a declaration of war on the Roberts Supreme Court, Senate Democrats said Wednesday that they will force a vote this year on a constitutional amendment to overturn several landmark First Amendment campaign finance rulings and give Congress explicit powers to set donation and spending limits for all federal campaigns.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat driving the effort, said the justices have taken the First Amendment too far and need to be reeled in by Congress.
He said he had the blessing of fellow Democratic leaders to bring the amendment to the floor for a vote “rather soon.” They acknowledged that they have little hope of succeeding but said the vote was a way to send a message to the justices.
“The First Amendment is not absolute,” Mr. Schumer said. “The only way that we can save American democracy, so that people still believe it’s one person, one vote and there’s a semblance of fairness, is a constitutional amendment.”
The move kicks off a fundamental debate over free speech, the limits of congressional powers and the nature of political campaigns.
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