Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenDemocrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control Gillibrand: 'I definitely want to run for president again' Maher chides Democrats: We 'suck the fun out of everything' MORE (D-Minn.) blasted the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, calling it one of the “worst” rulings in the history of the court.

“Citizens United was one of the worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court,” Franken said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It was a disaster.”


On Monday, the Senate voted 79-18 to debate a constitutional amendment that would reverse two recent Supreme Court rulings that lifted limits on campaign spending.

Republicans have offered support for the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC. They say campaign spending is a form of free speech, and that the decisions removing certain limits on spending protected First Amendment rights.

Franken said the Supreme Court “trampled” on its own precedent in those decisions and that they were examples of “radical” judicial activism. 

The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.

The amendment from Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) would authorize Congress and the states to regulate and limit fundraising and spending on federal candidates.

Franken is up for reelection in November. Republicans have accused Democrats of pushing the amendment for political gains ahead of an election that could flip control of the Senate.

Republican Party of Minnesota Deputy Chairman Chris Fields called Franken's comments "appalling."

"Regardless of your political persuasion, it’s impossible to argue that Citizens United comes even close to being among the worst decisions ever," Fields said.

— This article was updated at 5:30 p.m.