A group of Needham residents is asking Town Meeting to join organizations and individuals across the country in calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, saying the 2010 Supreme Court ruling allows unions and corporations to corrupt the legislative process at all levels.
If Town Meeting approved the article, the voting body would call upon the Massachusetts state legislature to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that overturns the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision of 2010.
In that 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to put any limits on how much money corporations could spend to influence elections—supporting a candidate or issue through television ads and other means.
The constitutional amendment would reverse that decision by clarifying that the First Amendment is not meant to protect the freedom of speech of for-profit corporations.
Smart said the local petition would “light a fire” under legislators to act on the issue.