‘Posse of Radicals’ Wants to 'Overturn the First Amendment,' Says Citizens United Founder

April 19, 2012 - 4:48 PM

(CNSNews.com) – David Bossie, founder of the conservative group Citizens United, says that people advocating to overturn the landmark Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission are a “posse of radicals” who are trying to "overturn the First Amendment."

“So that’s why I say they’re a posse of radicals who are looking for a problem rather than a dedicated group of people who are analyzing something seriously and trying to find a way forward,” Bossie said in an exclusive interview with CNSNews.com on Wednesday.

Bossie made the remarks outside a Capitol Hill conference of liberal groups and Democratic legislators advocating for a constitutional amendment that would in effect overturn the Citizens United decision, on the grounds that the high court’s ruling in Citizens United’s favor will eventually lead to massive corporate spending in political campaigns.

“We haven’t seen that type of giving,” said Bossie. “We’ve seen individual wealthy donors give to these SuperPACs but we’re not seeing corporate giving and that’s really what we’re talking about – that’s their big hang-up. We just haven’t seen it.”

Bossie said that Democrats and their liberal allies were trying to create a 28th Amendment to overturn the First Amendment.

“They want to create a 28th Amendment to overturn the First Amendment,” he said. “That’s really what the essence of this discussion here is today.”

He said that Democrats do not seem to understand what the Supreme Court ruled in his case, explaining that it was the controversial McCain-Feingold campaign finance law that was the problem, not the Court’s decision.

“I find that these folks really don’t understand the essence of the problem, they don’t understand that their biggest mistake was passing McCain-Feingold,” Bossie told CNSNews.com. “That was their mistake. The mistake isn’t the Supreme Court correcting their error – their error is passing McCain-Feingold, passing unconstitutional legislation in the dark of night that the American people don’t understand.”

supremem court 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court in the 2009-2010 term. (AP Photo)

Bossie said that McCain-Feingold – which set limits on how much donors could give to independent political organizations as well as limits on when those organizations could run ads – “criminalized” political speech. He said it also created an unfair environment by exempting media organizations from its restrictions.

In its 2010 decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,  the Supreme Court agreed with Bossie, striking those provisions of the law and affirming that political organizations had First Amendment rights.

Bossie said he saw the calls for a constitutional amendment as part of the broader presidential election, saying that even President Obama had gotten in on the game by denouncing the Supreme Court during his 2011 State of the Union address.

Those in Congress calling for an amendment were just trying to stir up controversy of their own, he said, dismissing them as “misfit toys.”

“They had a summit that was really just a collection of misfit toys here of left-wing agitators and organizers from Public Citizen on down, who really are professionals at this and just want to use this as a fundraising vehicle and to alleviate the left’s angst against President Obama for not trying to do something against this,” said Bossie.