Justice Stevens and a Bold Vision to Reclaim Our Democracy

By John Bonifaz and Ryan O’Donnell, Truthout | Op-Ed –

Justice John Paul Stevens in his chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington.

Justice John Paul Stevens in his chambers at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 15, 2014. In his new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution,” Stevens proposes six amendments, one of which would address the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

Saying US elections are awash in money from corporations and wealthy individuals is no longer an outrageous statement. Sadly, today, most Americans would probably agree that this is a totally fair assessment, and that the problem is getting worse.

This hard truth was on display when the US Supreme Court recently decided, in a case called McCutcheon v. FEC, to further roll back limits on money in politics, building upon its now infamous decision in Citizens United only four years earlier.

In the face of the ever-growing dominance of wealthy interests over our politics, it is no wonder that we see a continued erosion of public trust in our democratic institutions. Democracy in the United States often feels frozen in place, especially at the national level. One look at Congress’s abysmal approval ratings, crossing at times into single digits, tells the story of the threat posed by money in politics.

But if there was ever a time to cast aside our political cynicism, it is today. John Paul Stevens, retired justice of the US Supreme Court, appeared recently before the US Senate to argue for a constitutional amendment to limit money in politics. In fact, Justice Stevens is calling for a great deal of change, which he describes in a new book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.

Read more…. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23827-justice-stevens-and-a-bold-vision-to-reclaim-our-democracy

 

Reprinted with permission