Congress, Money & the Constitution


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Latest Gallup poll approval rating for the U.S. Congress: 18 percent. Eight in ten Americans now disapprove of the body that’s supposed to most directly represent them in Washington.

It’s a new low since the Supreme Court ruled that corporate cash can roll once more directly into campaigning.

Some want new laws to blunt the court’s decision. Others want more — like a constitutional convention to radically push back the influence of big money on Capitol Hill. Or new laws to radically rework the two-party system.

This hour, On Point: Legal scholars Lawrence Lessig and Jonathan Turley on remaking Congress.


Joining us from Washington is Stephen Dinan, political reporter for The Washington Times. He reported yesterday on Congressional Democrats’ efforts to find a “quick fix” to the recent Supreme Court decision on campaign finance. 

Joining us from White Plains, N.Y., is Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Harvard University and director of its Center for Ethics.  He’s co-founder of the advocacy group Change Congress, which is calling for a constitutional convention to propose an amendment that addresses the influence of money in American politics. Read Lessig’s recent essay “How to Get Our Democracy Back” in The Nation. 

And from Arlington, Va., we’re joined by Jonathan Turley, professor of law at Georgetown University. His opinion piece in today’s Los Angeles Times is “Real political reform should go beyond campaign finance.”  Read more of his thoughts at his blog.

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