Saving American Democracy Amendment

February 6th, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect:  Sen. Bernard Sanders (I, VT) has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court Corporations-are-not-peopleSMALLdecision in a case called Citizens United vs. FEC.  According to Richard Winger the amendment has two sponsors in addition to Sanders, Sen. Mark Begich (D, AK) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D, FL).  Econintersect has not found any Republican support for the amendment in an internet search.

The Saving American Democracy Amendment states that:

  • Corporations are not persons with constitutional rights equal to real people.
  • Corporations are subject to regulation by the people.
  • Corporations may not make campaign contributions or any election expenditures.
  • Congress and states have the power to regulate campaign finances.

Follow up:

There are a number of organizations working to generate public support for a constitutional amendment to pass the 28th amendment to the U.S. constitution.  Some of these are Free Speech for People, Move to Amend and www.united4thepeople.org.  Jeffrey D. Clements has written a book “Corporations are not People” that discusses the issue of corporations having the rights of people and the constitutional amendment movement.  On Clements’ website is a list of organizations supporting the amendment.

Bill Moyers has a brief video clip that documents some of the local government actions that have been taken to support a vote for an amendment:

corporations-are-not-people-amendment-Bill-Moyers-video

Here is the full text of a preliminary draft of the proposed joint resolution authorizing a referendum on the amendment:

JEN11E13 S.L.C.

112TH CONGRESS

1ST SESSION S. J. RES. ll

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to expressly

exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons

by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending

in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the States

to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election

contributions and expenditures.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

llllllllll

Mr. SANDERS (for himself and Mr. BEGICH) introduced the following joint

resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on

llllllllll

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the

States to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures.

1 Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives

2 of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two

3 thirds of each House concurring therein), That the fol

4 lowing article is proposed as an amendment to the Con

---------------------------

JEN11E13 S.L.C.

2

1 stitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all

2 intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when

3 ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several

4 States within seven years after the date of its submission

5 for ratification:

6 ‘‘ARTICLE

7 ‘‘SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution

8 of the United States are the rights of natural persons and

9 do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability

10 companies, or other private entities established for busi

11 ness purposes or to promote business interests under the

12 laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.

13 ‘‘SECTION 2. Such corporate and other private enti

14 ties established under law are subject to regulation by the

15 people through the legislative process so long as such regu

16 lations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the

17 States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

18 ‘‘SECTION 3. Such corporate and other private enti

19 ties shall be prohibited from making contributions or ex

20 penditures in any election of any candidate for public of

21fice or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the

22 people.

23 ‘‘SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the

24 power to regulate and set limits on all election contribu

25 tions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spend

---------------------------

JEN11E13 S.L.C.

3

1 ing, and to authorize the establishment of political com

2 mittees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources

3 of those contributions and expenditures.’’.

 

Disclosure:  GEI Managing Editor John Lounsbury has signed a petition in support of the proposed amendment is available on Sen. Sanders’ website.

Sources:  See links in the article.

Hat tip to Dan Flemming.









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