Oregon is 16th State to Call to Overturn Citizens United

The state joins a growing list working to get big money out of our elections through constitutional amendment


After a State Senate vote on July 1, Oregon became the 16th state to call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and related decisions.

OSPIRG Executive Director Dave Rosenfeld hailed the decision, saying, “Today our legislature stood up to reject Citizens United and to call on Congress to send us an amendment to ensure that in our democracy, the size of your wallet does not determine the volume of your voice.” 

OSPIRG worked with leaders and activists across the state to ensure that the bill passed by bipartisan consensus. 

Oregon’s vote follows recent votes in Illinois and Delaware, and moves them onto a list of 15 other states and nearly 500 municipalities calling for an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision.

In the Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo rulings, the Supreme Court allowed unlimited election spending by corporations and wealthy individuals. The Court also opened the door for secretive election spending by “dark money” groups that are not required to disclose their donors. 

“These rulings burst the damn for special interest money to flood our elections, threatening to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens,” said U.S. PIRG Democracy Advocate Blair Bowie.  “The dominance of large donors was on full display in the 2012 Presidential election, in which, the top 32 Super PAC donors—giving an average of $9.9 million each—matched the $313 million that President Obama and Mitt Romney raised from all of their small donors combined.”

OSPIRG found that in 2012 over $980,000 in outside spending poured into state federal races, and 98.88% of that came from out-of-state groups.