Wyoming Legislature to Debate Overturning Citizens United

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Wyoming Legislature to Debate Overturning Citizens United

State Lawmakers to Hear Testimony for 28th Amendment to End Corporate Personhood and Get Money Out of Politics

(CHEYENNE, WY) – The Wyoming state legislature has introduced a bill calling on Congress to amend the U.S. Constitution to ensure free and fair elections, effectively reversing the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Today, members of the legislature’s Corporations, Elections & Politics Committee will begin hearing testimony on House Joint Resolution 10 (HJ0010), which asks Congress to propose and ratify a constitutional amendment to make clear constitutional rights are for natural persons only and allow the full regulation of all political spending.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United opened the door for corporations and wealthy donors to spend unlimited money in political campaigns under the First Amendment. The concept for corporate constitutional rights dates back to 1886, when corporations were first recognized as “persons” under the 14th Amendment in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. A broad coalition of environment, labor, civil rights, faith based, good-government and community-based organizations have worked to pressure state lawmakers across the country to support a 28th Amendment to reverse the Supreme Court cases culminating with its Citizens United ruling.

“We are glad to see state legislators recognizing the farce of corporate privileges as inalienable and taking steps to curb corporate influence in elections,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director for Move to Amend. “Eighteen states -- and more than 700 towns, cities, and counties across the country -- have already passed resolutions supporting a 28th Amendment to end corporate constitutional rights and money as free speech. We urge Wyoming state legislators to vote YES on HJ0010 and call on Wyoming residents to contact their state legislators to support this resolution.”   

Move to Amend is a rapidly growing national grassroots coalition of over 425,000 individuals and hundreds of organizations working to pass a constitutional amendment to make clear that Constitutional rights belong to human beings and political spending is not protected speech under the First Amendment. On Monday, their We the People Amendment was introduced in the US House of Representatives as House Joint Resolution 48.

The eighteen states to make similar calls for a constitutional amendment include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

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Move to Amend representatives are available for interviews with the press. To arrange an interview, please contact Keyan Bliss at press [at] movetoamend.org or call 916-318-8040.