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November 24, 2011 06:09 AM UTC

The MOVE TO AMEND Amendment!!

  • 6 Comments
  • by: Steve_I_Am

With all due respect to Rep. McGovern, and Rep. Deutch, and Sen. Udall, the constitutional amendments that they have proposed are all fatally flawed.

The McGovern Amendment is good on ending “Corporate Personhood,” but fails, in any way, to deal with the equally vexing problem of money being treated as a form of protected political speech.

The Deutch Amendment is good, but it leaves a gaping loophole when it says that rights protected under the Constitution do not extend to FOR PROFIT corporations. As most ColoradoPols readers probably know, Citizens United, the phony corporate front corporation involved in the Citizens United v. FEC case was set up as a NON-profit corporation.

And, the Udall Amendment, the weakest of the three, only says that Congress may regulate corporate money in politic. It never even attempts to addresses the root of the problem – “Corporate Personhood.”

For those of you who are tired of congressional and senatorial half-measures, and who have been waiting for an amendment that was serious about ending “Corporate Personhood” once and for all, wait no more.

Move to Amend is a group that has been at the forefront of a truly democratic, grassroots, effort to Amend the Constitution so that it clearly, and unquivocally says that “rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings, only” and that “Money is not speech. ”

Here is the Move to Amend language:

The “MOVE TO AMEND” Amendment

Section 1 [Corporations are not people and can be regulated]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.  

Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other 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, for the purpose of influencing 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 First Amendment.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

The Move to Amend amendment will clearly establish that corporations are not people, and money is not speech, and it allows for no loopholes!  THIS is the amendment that will put people back in charge of our government, and corporations back in their proper place – subservient to We, The People.

If you like what you have read, you can support the Move to Amend amendment, by doing three things: 1) go to http://movetoamend.org/amendment to help us name the amendment; 2) go to http://movetoamend.org/node/2325 to sign our Move to Amend petition; and 3) participate in Move to Amend’s national day of action – OCCUPY THE COURTS – on Friday, January 20, 2012.

OTC will be a one day “occupation” in front of federal court buildings across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. There are currently 23 cities participating in OTC with more cities coming on line every day. To find the OTC action nearest to you, go to www.movetoamend.org/occupythecourts.

We look forward to seeing you on January 20, 2012!

Onward!

Steve Justino

Co-Chair, Colorado Move to Amend

Move to Amend, National Action Coordinator, OCCUPY THE COURTS – 1.20.2012!

occupythecourts@movetoamend.org

Comments

6 thoughts on “The MOVE TO AMEND Amendment!!

  1. Thanks for the post. I’m donating to Occupy whatever and have already dropped off goods but would like to continue my support seeing where they are becoming a force to be reckoned with and one that gives me hope.  What is the best way to send monetary donations to the group?

    1. “turf wars” to be a stumbling block to achieving such coalesence. The message I have brought to many communities in years past is to recognize that we don’t all have to be on the same bus.

      We just have to make sure all our buses are heading in the same direction.

      The person who can lead a community like this has to constantly bear in mind the saying (attributed to many but first spoken by an English poet, I discovered), “It is amazing what can be accomplished when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”

      That leader needs, above all else, to help the group find its’ message, articulate that message, and then make that message larger than themselves. The ability and willingness to take your message to those who can actually DO something about it is critical.

      It is not easy to speak the truth to power…if it were, more people would do it.

      Above ALL else…never, ever give up.  

  2. The provisions under section two make the regulation a constitutional requirement by using the word shall. These are items that should be up to legislators to determine.

    Change “shall” to “may” and I would be behind it 100%

  3. First and foremost, this amendment does not properly separate First Amendment speech from electioneering.  It tries, but it presumes that by specifying the purpose of spending that will properly limit Congress and the States to that area of spending – it won’t, because the courts give the legislatures broad leeway in interpreting these types of provisions.  In this respect it goes too far where the other amendments on the table do not go far enough.

    Second, I would alter the provision defining the (lack of) rights of artificial entities to:

    Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state derive their rights from the natural persons they are formed to represent, and such rights are limited in extent to representing those persons.

    Congress and the various States may create laws designating any additional privileges of artificial entities necessary for their proper operation, and these shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

    This is clearer, and explicitly allows e.g. the bundling of money by advocacy organizations for political purposes (while also implying that such bundling can be limited, regardless of the number of organizations, per person…).

    Third, the language about regulation of election financing should be tightened up to specify that said laws apply only to the appropriate jurisdiction (i.e. Congress has authority over Federal elections, and States over their own elections.)

    Fourth, local governments have no recognition under the Constitution – these are constituted under State law.  All references to local government should be removed from the amendment.

    Finally, I agree with Alexei – the “shall enact” provisions need to be change to “may”.  This is necessary for any provision regulating the States; the Federal provisions could remain as “shall”, but if they do, then the bill that sends the amendment to the States for ratification should also contain the initial legislation, provisional on passage of the amendment.

    I will look at the organization and its proposal; I hope that it’s still open for some modification to tighten it up to pass civil liberties and legal muster.

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