THE BLOG
10/07/2011 01:06 pm ET Updated Dec 07, 2011

A "Power to the People" Constitutional Amendment

In January, 2010, I proposed on this site a constitutional amendment that would enable our legislative bodies to rein in corporate influence over federal and state elections. If the American people are to retake their democracy, however, that authority must be combined with a federally protected right to vote. Here is my revised draft, which I dedicate to the #OccupyWallSt movement.

Sec. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, Congress may prohibit or otherwise regulate political contributions and expenditures by commercial, for-profit corporations for any federal office.

Sec. 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, States may prohibit or otherwise regulate political contributions and expenditures by commercial, for-profit corporations for any state or local office, or for any state or local referendum or initiative, within their jurisdiction, and may delegate such regulatory authority for local offices, referenda and initiatives to the relevant local governments.

Sec. 3. No citizen of the United States who has reached the age of 18 may be denied the right to vote in any election for state or federal office conducted in the state of which he or she is a duly registered domiciliary. No citizen of the United States who has reached the age of 18 may be denied the right to vote in any election for local office conducted in a local jurisdiction of which he or she is a duly registered domiciliary. Any election regulation that has the purpose or effect of denying the right to vote that is not narrowly tailored to serve a compelling and legitimate government interest shall be unconstitutional. States shall adopt affirmative measures to insure that citizens may conveniently exercise the rights guaranteed by this section.

Sec. 4. In districted elections for federal, state or local office, every citizen of the United States who has reached the age of 18 shall have the right to vote in a fairly apportioned district that implements the principle of one person, one vote and that has not been drawn substantially for the purpose of defeating political competition and preserving the majority status within that district of any political party.

Sec. 5. Congress may enforce the rights protected by this Amendment through appropriate legislation.