February 6th, 2012
Econintersect: Sen. Bernard Sanders (I, VT) has proposed a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court decision 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.
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:
Here is the full text of a preliminary draft of the proposed joint resolution authorizing a referendum on the amendment:
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
Mr. SANDERS (for himself and Mr. BEGICH) introduced the following joint
resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on
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
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:
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
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
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.