Other Amendments (2012 Archive)

While it is exciting to see the flurry of momentum and energy that is finally getting some traction in a small segment of Congress, Move to Amend is very clear that it is important that we not let our goals be diluted by our legislators in Washington, even by those who mean well and want to see reform in our political system.

Passing an amendment will be a tough job, so the language must be commensurate with the effort needed to win, and the amendment must be strong and clear enough to end corporate rule - there's no room here for half solutions or ambiguity.

It is our belief that we need to operate on the assumption that once an Amendment comes out of Congress we won't get another shot. So we MUST get it right!

With many competing proposals, it can be confusing to figure out what is what in terms of what the proposals will actually do. We have prepared a summary of each of the amendments proposed, including what is missing from each one.

We also encourage you to check out our article, Why Abolish All Corporate Constitutional Rights, to explain why we feel so strongly that half-way solutions cannot be accepted.

Click here to read Move to Amend's proposed amendment that will clearly establish that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and allows for no loopholes. Our amendment will put people in charge of our government, and corporations in their proper place.

The Proposed Amendments (to date)


Edwards Amendment Proposal

  • Introduced by Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) on September 12, 2011
  • Read the text here: H.J.Res. 78
  • Organizations involved: Free Speech for People

What it does:

  • Clarifies the authority of Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds for political activity by corporations.

What’s missing:

  • Does not address corporate constitutional rights (corporate personhood)
  • Does not address the Supreme Court doctrine of money = free speech. Leaves the door wide open to wealthy individuals continuing to bankroll elections.

Schrader Amendment Proposal

  • Introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) on July 13, 2011
  • Read the text here: H.J.Res. 72
  • Organizations involved: ?

What it does:

  • Reverses the Citizens United decision: affirms the power of Congress and the States to regulate contribution of funds to candidates and the expenditure of funds intended to influence the outcome of elections.

What’s missing:

  • Does not address corporate constitutional rights (corporate personhood)

Udall Amendment Proposal

  • Introduced by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Mark Begich (D-AK) on November 1, 2011
  • Read the text here: S.J.Res. 29
  • Organizations involved: People for the American Way

What it does:

  • Reverses the Citizens United Decision: affirms the power of Congress and the States to regulate contribution of funds to candidates and the expenditure of funds intended to influence the outcome of elections.
  • Challenges the Buckley Decision (money is free speech) by giving Congress authority to regulate campaign spending and political contributions.

What’s missing:

  • Does not address corporate constitutional rights (corporate personhood)

McGovern Amendment Proposal

  • Introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) on November 15, 2011
  • Read the text here: H.J.Res. 88
  • Organizations involved: Free Speech for People

What it does:

  • Asserts that corporations are not people.

What’s missing:

  • Does not address the Supreme Court doctrine of money = free speech. By not also addressing the doctrine of money as free speech it leaves the door wide open to wealthy individuals continuing to bankroll elections.

Deutch Amendment Proposal

  • Introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) on November 18, 2011
  • Read the text here (pdf)
  • Organizations involved: Public Citizen

What it does:

  • Asserts that for-profit and business corporations are not people.
  • Gives Congress the authority to regulate corporations (unclear whether this is specific to for-profit/business corporations only).
  • Overturns Citizens United in part: prohibits for-profit corporations and entities serving business interests from making political contributions or expenditures.
  • Gives Congress the authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to institute disclosure requirements.

What’s missing:

  • Personhood section only addresses for-profit corporations and “business corporations”. Does not address not-for-profit corporations/entities such as PACs (including Citizens United) or unions. Implies by omission that these entities may claim personhood rights under the Constitution. 
  • Unclear whether subsequent sections (regarding regulation of corporations and corporate campaign contributions/expenditures) also only apply to for-profit corporations. Wording seems to indicate that these sections do not apply to entities other than for-profit corporations or "business entities."

Sanders Amendment Proposal

  • Introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on December 8, 2011
  • Same as Deutch amendment - see above

What it does:

  • Asserts that for-profit and business corporations are not people.
  • Gives Congress the authority to regulate corporations (unclear whether this is specific to for-profit/business corporations only).
  • Overturns Citizens United in part: prohibits for-profit corporations and entities serving business interests from making political contributions or expenditures.
  • Gives Congress the authority to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures and to institute disclosure requirements.

What’s missing:

  • Personhood section only addresses for-profit corporations and “business corporations”. Does not address not-for-profit corporations/entities such as PACs (including Citizens United) or unions. Implies by omission that these entities may claim personhood rights under the Constitution. 
  • Unclear whether subsequent sections (regarding regulation of corporations and corporate campaign contributions/expenditures) also only apply to for-profit corporations. Wording seems to indicate that these sections do not apply to entities other than for-profit corporations or "business entities."

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.