IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED 28TH “WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT” TO ABOLISH THE DOCTRINES OF “CORPORATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS” AND “MONEY EQUALS POLITICAL SPEECH”
WHEREAS, “We the People” have the inherent right to self-government, autonomy, and self-determination; and
WHEREAS, multinational corporations have become so large and powerful that they threaten our sovereign right to govern ourselves; and
WHEREAS, only people are entitled to claim constitutional rights; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court has illegitimately held that corporations have the constitutional rights of people in order to overturn laws designed to protect workers, the environment, public health and safety, and the integrity of elections; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has illegitimately held that the expenditure of money is a form of protected political speech; and
WHEREAS, the amount of money being raised and spent in elections is causing ordinary citizens to lose confidence in the integrity of our own government; and
WHEREAS, neither the idea that corporations are people, nor the idea that money is speech, is mentioned anywhere in the text of the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, in Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court decided that limiting the amount corporations can spend to influence elections is a violation of the "free speech rights" of "people," and therefore unconstitutional; and
WHEREAS, in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Supreme Court decided that limiting the aggregate amount wealthy individuals can spend on political races is a violation of their "free speech rights" under the First Amendment; and
WHEREAS, the only way to permanently reverse the damage done by these decisions is to amend the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, an important first step toward this goal is for organizations and communities across the country to publicly state their support for this course of action; and
WHEREAS, across the country more than 600 local governments have called for such an amendment; and
WHEREAS, across the country more than 300 communities have voted at the ballot box in support of such an amendment; and
WHEREAS, across the country more than 1,000 organizations (including organized labor unions) have voted to endorse such an amendment; and
WHEREAS, Citizens United v. FEC has unleashed a torrent of corporate electioneering that drowns out the countervailing force of organized labor, as well as the voices of everyday Americans, in the political process; and
WHEREAS, workers generally--and labor unions specifically--have historically been at the forefront of virtually every struggle for social and economic justice in this country; and
WHEREAS, House Joint Resolution 48 has been introduced into Congress specifically calling for a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to state:
WE THE PEOPLE AMENDMENT
House Joint Resolution 48, introduced April 29, 2015
Section 1. [Artificial entities are not persons and can be regulated]
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law. The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
Section 2. [Money is not speech and can be regulated]
Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure. Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the 1st Amendment.
BE IT RESOLVED, that ____________ endorses and supports the “We the People Amendment” making clear that (1) corporations do not possess the inherent and inalienable rights of people; and (2) that the raising and spending of money in elections can be regulated; and
RESOLVED, that _________ will work to educate our members about these issues and make clear the need for a constitutional amendment; and
RESOLVED, that ___________ will notify all members of Congress, all state governors, all state representatives, and the President of the United States of _________________'s support for the passage of this resolution, and request that these public officials also go on record in support of such an amendment.
Passed and adopted on ____[date]______ by ____[body]_______.