Thursday, September 28, 2017

When Will Corporations Get The Right To Vote?

I was talking to a friend who's active in the Move to Amend group.  They're working on getting support from the Anchorage Assembly and others to support a Constitutional Amendment already in Congress that would define the word 'people' in the Constitution as referring to individual humans, NOT corporations.  Here's the whole amendment:

House Joint Resolution 48 introduced January 30, 2017
Click here for most up to date list of co-sponsors

Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]
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 Free Speech]
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 First Amendment.
The key arguments I've heard against this motion is that there are some situations where corporations should have rights that the constitution protects - like free speech.  The response I hear from supporters of the amendments that individual states that set up the laws for corporations can legislate those rights (like lobbying Congress, etc.).
The genesis of the amendment was the Supreme Court case Citizens United which upturned campaign finance laws and allowed corporations and others to contribute huge sums of money.

But you're better off checking their arguments on their website.   There are other attempts to counter act Citizens United.  

Is Corporate Voting Next?
So as I was thinking about this, I thought well, perhaps the corporations, since they are now considered persons, will be asking for the right to vote.  They already have lots of shell corporations for this and that.  Just think how many they could create if there were a tight election.  Would the corporation have to be 18 years old or older?  


  1. If memory serves, Citizen's United was one of the very first right wing inquisitors that went after the Clintons, possibly as far back as Bill's governorship.

    We have seen what irresponsible korporate Amerika can and will do with free speech rights as it pertains to lavishing dinero on pols.

    I hadn't heard about the amendment. Sounds good to me, though.

  2. Having trouble leaving comments on my own blog. Let's try here. Thanks Ziba. Mike, glad to introduce you to Move To Amend's amendment.

  3. I hadn't heard of this amendment either but it's a great idea. And you might mention that corporations also apparently now have freedom of religion (e.g. Hobby Lobby).


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