61 Communities in NH have warrant articles to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United and Amend Constitution

March 9, 2014

61 Communities in NH have warrant articles to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United and Amend Constitution

Fifty-seven towns will consider Town Meeting resolutions this month calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would overturn the controversial US Supreme Court decision in the “Citizens United” case, declare that spending money on elections is not constitutionally protected speech, and also make it clear that protections outlined by the Constitution are meant for people, not corporations.

“It is common sense that money is not speech, and corporations are not people,” commented Olivia Zink, New Hampshire organizer with Move to Amend, who has been working with town meeting resolution organizers statewide.    “Since the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise, we need to make the wording of the Constitution clear.”

Without such changes, she explained, Congress will have no ability to limit the flood of cash that drowns out citizen voices at election time.

In response to a citizen petition, the Newmarket Town Council approved a resolution on February 19 that called on the US Congress to approve “a Constitutional amendment that guarantees the right of the American people to safeguard fair elections through authority to limit political spending and clarifies that inalienable rights are possessed by individuals.”

A similar resolution was adopted by the Conway NH Town Meeting in 2013.

Towns with resolutions on the agendas for the March ballots or Town Meetings include: Alstead, Amherst, Andover, Atkinson, Barnstead, Barrington, Brentwood, Bristol , Bridgewater, Brookline, Cornish, Chesterfield,  Danville, Deerfield, Dorchester, Dublin, Eaton,  Exeter, Grafton, Greenville, Groton, Hampstead, Hampton, Harrisville, Hancock, Henniker, Hollis, Hudson, Jaffrey, Kingston, Lee, Londonderry, Lyme, Madbury, Milford, New Boston, New Durham, Newfields, Northwood, Nottingham, Orford, Pelham, Piermont, Plymouth, Rindge, Rollinsford, Salem, Sandwich, Sharon, Stratham,  Strafford, Tilton, Warner, Wakefield, Westmoreland, Windham

Five other towns, Chester, Hanover, New London, Peterborough, and Sanbornton, will take up similar resolutions at May Town Meetings. 

Resolutions with similar intent have also been adopted in communities from San Diego, California to Bar Harbor, Maine.

Move to Amend – along with Public Citizen and NH Coalition for Open Democracy – has worked with NH citizens to collect signatures and get the resolutions qualified for town meeting.

Information about the national campaign to amend the Constitution can be found at: https://movetoamend.org/new-hampshire