H.C.R. NO.














requesting the united states congress to propose a constitutional amendment to OVERTURN the united states supreme court's holding relating to corporate independent expenditures in citizens united v. federal election commission.




     WHEREAS, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010)(Citizens United), the United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from suppressing political speech in the form of corporate independent expenditures, based upon the speaker's corporate identity; and


     WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court (Court) has noted that independent expenditures are considered political speech and therefore protected under the First Amendment; and


     WHEREAS, prior to the Court's decision in Citizens United, corporations were prohibited from using corporate treasury funds for political independent expenditures or to expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate; and


WHEREAS, the Court has permitted the regulation of certain speech based upon a speaker's identity when the restriction is justified by a legitimate governmental interest; and


WHEREAS, there is a clear distinction between human and corporate political speech relating to the election of public officials and campaign spending; and


     WHEREAS, in his dissent in Citizens United, Justice Stevens pointed out that the Court had previously found that there is a compelling governmental interest in preserving the integrity of the electoral process, preventing corruption, . . . sustaining the active, alert responsibility of the individual citizen in a democracy for the wise conduct of the government, and maintaining the individual citizen's confidence in government; and


     WHEREAS, despite restrictions on corporate independent expenditures from corporate treasuries, corporate political speech may be expressed in additional manners, particularly by the establishment of a political action committee, commonly referred to as PACs, which use separated segregated funds; and


     WHEREAS, Justice Steven's dissent noted that in a recent election cycle, corporate and union PACs had raised nearly a billion dollars; and


     WHEREAS, Justice Stevens stated that the decision made by the Citizens United Court "threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.  The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution" and that "A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold"; and


     WHEREAS, it is in the public interest of the nation to have limitations on corporate campaign contributions and independent expenditures relating to the election of government officials; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2013, the Senate concurring, that the Legislature requests the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to overturn the United States Supreme Court's holding on corporate independent expenditures in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the proposed constitutional amendment is requested to allow states to:


     (1)  Prohibit corporate direct donations and independent expenditures relating to the election or defeat of candidates for public office;


     (2)  Prohibit political action committees and non-candidate committees from independent expenditures relating to the election or defeat of candidates for public office;


     (3)  Require the reporting of the identity of all campaign donors; and


     (4)  Limit the expenditures by candidates for public office; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, members of Hawaii's congressional delegation, and to each of the presiding officers of the legislative bodies of each state of the United States of America.









Report Title: 

Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission; Corporate Campaign Spending