Indiana University in Bloomington will host a public debate between David Cobb of Move to Amend's National Leadership Team and James Bopp, General Counsel for the James Madison Center for Free Speech. “Citizens Divided: Corporate Money, Speech, and Politics” will be held in the Maurer School of Law from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, September 8th.
The debate between Cobb and Bopp will explore the relationship between corporations and political speech following the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling, featuring questions from a three-person panel and the audience. David Cobb, an attorney and former Green Party presidential nominee, is representing a national coalition of over 360,000 people and organizations working to amend the US Constitution to state that constitutional rights belong to human beings only and that money is not equal to speech.
“We are a diverse coalition with deep roots in communities nationwide. We recognize that amending the Constitution to restore the power of the people over corporations will not be easy, but we know correcting the Supreme Court is imperative to the progress of our nation,” stated Cobb, who is visiting Bloomington as part of a national tour taking place in Indiana and states across the country. Cobb hopes to help local residents understand the history behind corporate constitutional rights and how they can work to end corporate personhood and reestablish a government of, by, and for the people.
James Bopp, a former Republican National Committeeman and an attorney for Citizens United leading up to the Court's decision, has spent 30 years working to eliminate or significantly loosen campaign finance regulations and donor-disclosure requirements in defendse of what he calls a “basically absolute” interpretation of the First Amendment. “Voters in the United States have always had a healthy skepticism about government and politicians, and I think it’s a good thing,” said Bopp. “But the problem we have is we don’t have enough information available to voters to allow them to make informed choices, so we need more spending.”
“We are inspired by historic social movements that recognized the necessity of altering fundamental power relationships,” said Cobb. “America has progressed through ordinary people joining together—from the Revolutionaries to Abolitionists, Suffragists, Trade Unionists, and Civil Rights activists through to today. Move to Amend is a long-term effort to make the U.S. Constitution more democratic.”
This event is free and open to the public, sponsored by Indiana University’s Civic Leaders Center, the SPEA Law and Public Policy Program, the Maurer Law School American Constitution Society, and Move to Amend South Central Indiana. The debate will be held in the Maurer Law School's Sherman Minton Moot Court at 211 South Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408.
Come join us for an exciting discussion featuring two prominent figures in the national debate over corporate personhood, campaign finance, and the proper definition of political speech!
The debate can be watched online via livestream here.