“A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”
We the People, Not We the Corporations
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government.
Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.
“. . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010
This week the Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss “Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People.” Unfortunately, the proposal before the Senate wouldn’t do nearly enough to “restore democracy.”
Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a Constitutional Amendment proposal being put forward by Democratic leadership in a federal election year when Democrats desperately want to find a way to woo an American public increasingly disgusted with everyone in Washington D.C. What the amendment would do is give Congress and the States authority to regulate campaign spending. It would overturn the money in politics part of Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.
The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year — before election season. We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction — the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”
Senate Joint Resolution 19 is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but it doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights at all.
Move to Amend has vowed that we will not support any halfway measures that don’t amend the Constitution in two necessary ways:
1) Make clear that only human beings, not corporations have Constitutional rights;
2) Make clear that money is not speech and campaign spending can be regulated.
Tens of thousands of volunteers across the nation have been building a grassroots movement over the past four years from the bottom up. This movement came from everyday people taking this issue to their city governments, to town meeting debates, to candidate forums, to newspaper opinion pages, and to the ballot box directly. Nearly 600 cities and towns have now passed amendment resolutions.
Polling shows 80% of the American public believes that corporations should not have the same rights as people. State legislatures have been pressured to stand up as well, with 16 states passing resolutions calling for an amendment. “Ending Corporate Personhood” was a major theme in the demands that came from Occupy encampments across the country.
The plan is that this amendment will get a vote in the Senate this year — before election season.
We cannot allow a proposal that doesn’t address corporate constitutional rights to get traction — the amendment must match the demand of our movement: “A Corporation is Not a Person! Money is Not Free Speech!”
1. Send a message to the authors of SJR19 — let them know that Corporate Personhood MUST be included in the language of the amendment. http://bit.ly/1rE90ey
2. Get Educated:
Attend Webinar on June 3, 2014 from 5-[6:30] PM PT (held monthly)
Introduction to Move to Amend http://bit.ly/1pMTubE These online trainings are an opportunity for folks to connect with Move to Amend and learn about organizing tools and campaign opportunities, and to connect with other MTA community organizers across the country.
3. Sign the Petition:
Motion to Amend the US Constitution http://bit.ly/1nIKTd3
4. Read More:
Click here to read Move to Amend’s proposed amendment that will clearly establish that money is not speech, a corporation is not a person, all corporations are subject to regulation, all campaign contributions will be disclosed and allows for no loopholes. Our amendment will put people in charge of our government, and corporations in their proper place.
About Move To Amend
Move to Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests. We call for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns. https://movetoamend.org