Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

The Next 10 Amendments: Limits on campaign spending?

July 31, 2013 by NCC Staff


Should candidates for federal office be limited in how much they can spend on campaigns? And should corporations be allowed to spend without limits?

10 amendments logoThese two issues gained new momentum in 2010, when the Supreme Court decided in the Citizens United case that corporations and unions couldn’t be restricted in their contributions to groups that supported issues during federal campaigns.

This led to a record level of spending, an estimated $7 billion, in the 2012 general election. The previous record was $5 billion spent in the 2008 general election.

As part of our Next 10 Amendments project, we’ve asked Constitution Daily readers to give us their opinions on possible new amendments. You can see other topics below, and people have made a lot of good points, in a civil way.

Links to Debates: Right To Bear Arms | Balanced Budget | Right To Privacy | Term Limits | Same-Sex Marriage | Church and State | Flag Burning | Electoral College

So do you think candidates should be allowed to spend whatever they want on campaigns, or should there be spending limits placed on elections? And do we need a constitutional amendment to make that happen?

Here’s how you can participate in our project:

1. Check out the resources in the sidebar at right to learn more about the historical context and current events related to this issue.

2. In the comments below, share your thoughts and explore what others are saying. (Please keep your comments respectful and on topic.)

3. Check back each week for the latest discussion topic.

4. In early September, cast your vote in a referendum on potential amendments, gathered from participant comments.

Our discussion is moderated by Chris Phillips, research fellow of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania and executive director of the nonprofit organization Democracy Café.

(Note to readers on Yahoo! News: If you want to take part in the debate, use this link and comment at the end of the story:


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