Citizens United v. FEC

Move to Amend 'Citizens United' and Abolish Corporate Personhood

Source:   http://www.movetoamend.org/learn-more

Republished here as a public service with full attribution to the originating source, MovetoAmend.org

Learn More

The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United is here:
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf

Read the opinions, and you will see why Justice Stevens, in his dissent, was compelled to state the obvious:

. . . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their “personhood” often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.

Like to learn more? Here are some good places to begin . . .

~ History of the Corporation ~
~ The Need for Constitutional Reform ~
~ Building a Democracy Movement ~

History of the Corporation

Sourcewatch: Corporate Rights
This special SourceWatch page has links to the real story about the Supreme Court's revolutionary and unconstitutional decision to asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate "speech."
See: http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Portal:Corporate_Rights

Abolish Corporate Personhood
This speech, given by Molly Morgan of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, follows the history of corporate power from the American Revolution to the present, detailing the ways in which the powerful elite have used the Constitution, the Courts and the corporation to quash the rights of We the People.
See: http://www.wilpf.org/docs/ccp/corp/ACP/Personhood_Talk.pdf

The Democracy Crisis
In this PowerPoint presentation, Riki Ott--a marine biologist and toxicologist from Alaska who fought Exxon for twenty years after the Valdez oil spill--shows that the spill was not just an ecological crisis, but a manifestation of a democracy crisis.
See: http://ultimatecivics.org/spresent.html

Corporatization: An Internal Clash of Civilizations
The authors write that, "Within the framework of U.S. constitutional law, in which personhood conveys fundamental protections against state action, the dubious doctrine of corporate personhood has allowed corporations to gain constitutional insulation from democratic control of corporate investment in key activities, including electioneering, lobbying, advertising, resource extraction, and manufacturing."
See: http://www.democracysquare.org/files_public/TNIyearb05us.pdf

The "Right" to Harm the Environment
Jan Edwards and Alis Valencia use this article to make the connection between corporate personhood and the destruction of the environment, going through the Bill of Rights and citing specific instances in which corporations used these rights to devastate the planet and local
communities.
See: http://www.californiademocracy.org/corporations/resource/environ.pdf

Taking Care of Business
Richard Grossman explains the history of corporate rule, contrasting it with the power of state legislators to control corporations and offering specific stories of states exercising their power to reign in corporate power. Explains the relationship between the Supreme Court and corporate constitutional rights, and explains how to use the state charter power to abolish those rights.
See: http://www.nancho.net/bigbody/chrtink1.html

The Essence of the Corporation
Ben Manski follows the legal history of the corporation from the ancient world to the early days of the Republic in order to understand its essence.
See: http://www.libertytreefdr.org/publications/manski_essence_of_the_corpora...

The Need for Constitutional Reform

Significant Cases in the Evolution of Corporate "Rights"
Reclaim Democracy has developed an excellent compendium of 20th century federal court decisions that have expanded federal protections for corporations against the public good.
See: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/personhood/#significant

Timeline
This timeline by Jan Edwards lays out the cases that gave corporations the
rights of persons and compares it to the struggles for rights for actual
persons.
See: http://www.californiademocracy.org/corporations/resource/timeline.pdf

Voting Rights Amendment
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., is the lead sponsor of the Right to Vote Amendment, knows that, "In a democracy there is nothing more fundamental than having the right to vote."
See: http://jackson.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=72...
and: http://archive.fairvote.org/?page=205

Voter Bill of Rights
The Voter Bill of Rights is a document embraced by hundreds of voting rights organizations. It was originally a product of the 2001 Democracy Summer program, following the election debacle of 2000. It was amended for the 2004 No Stolen Elections! campaign, and amended again for the No More Stolen Elections! campaign in 2008.
See: http://www.nomorestolenelections.org/resources/voter_bill_of_rights

Why So Many Good State Laws Are "Unconstitutional"
Corporate anthropologist Jane Anne Morris writes that, "Using the commerce clause, the "free trade" mantra of the time, they decided that states could not ban the manufacture, import, and sale of a substance that obviously many states wanted to ban. In other words [the] . . . . Supreme Court acted as a legislature."
See: http://www.poclad.org/bwa/Spring08.htm#pinkoleo

Municipal Government and Local Democracy
As provided by CELDF, J. Allen Smith informed us in 1907 that, "The powerful corporate interests engaged in the exploitation of municipal franchises are securely entrenched behind a series of constitutional and legal checks on the majority which makes it extremely difficult for public opinion to exercise any effective control over them."
See: http://www.celdf.org/HomeRule/JAllenSmithMunicipalGovernment/tabid/227/D...

Why Regulation Alone Won't Work
Regulatory agencies are often controlled by the industries they were formed to regulate. There is even a term for the phenomenon-- "regulatory capture." And a captured regulatory agency that serves the interests of the corporations that are supposed to regulate--with the power of the government behind them-- is very often worse than no regulation whatsoever. Corporate anthropologist Jane Anne Morris describes the history, and suggests what to do about it.
See: http://www.poclad.org/bwa/fall98.htm

Building a Democracy Movement

Extending Democracy
In this video, Ben Manski, Diane Farsetta and Kevin Alexander Gray join the Progressive Magazine in addressing the challenge of extending democracy in the United States:
See: http://www.democracysquare.org/publications/video_extending_democracy

How and Why the People of Humboldt County Defended Local Democracy
Katilin Sopoci-Belknap, co-campaign manager the Measure T initiative banning
corporate money in local elections, speaks at a community forum about the
history of corporate power. She describes how corporations seized our First
Amendment right to free speech, equated speech with money and hijacked the
ability of communities to govern and defend themselves against abuse.
http://votelocalcontrol.org/sopoci-belknap.htm

SCOTUS: Corporate Purchase of Elections = 'Free Speech'

Source: http://freespeechforpeople.org/resources

Freespeech for People.org

"On January 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are entitled to spend unlimited funds in our elections. The First Amendment was never intended to protect corporations.

This cannot stand. Join our campaign to protest this decision. Protect our democracy! Free speech is for people — not corporations."

freespeechforpeople.org is a campaign sponsored by Voter Action (voteraction.org), Public Citizen (citizen.org), the Center for Corporate Policy (corporatepolicy.org)  and American Independent Business Alliance (amiba.net) to restore the First Amendment's free speech guarantees for the people, and to preserve and promote democracy and self-government.  We are joined by a growing wave of people around the country.

http://freespeechforpeople.org/about

Responses to the  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission  Supreme Court Ruling
 

Read the Freespeech for People.org  press release responding to the Supreme Court decision issued January 21, 2010.

Read the Freespeech for People constitutional  draft amendment.

Read the Supreme Court ruling.

Listen to press call on Supreme Court decision.

Read background articles  . . . Resources continue @ Read More
 

Corporations Are Not the People: A PEN Action to Reverse 'Citizens United' Court Ruling

The following action has been prepared by PEN (People's E-mail Network) in response to the U.S. Supreme Court rulling in 'Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission' asserting that corporate money in politics is the equivalant of the right of free speech by individual citizens. 

Using the PEN action page, you can simultaneously send a letter to:

(1)  Your U.S. Representative in Congress
(2)  Both your U.S. Senators, and
(3)  The editorial letters page of your regional newspaper


Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People
http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1029.php

Congress must act swiftly to block and override this Court ruling by enacting legislation to reject the "Corporate Personhood" doctrine and reassert that governments regulate corporations, not the other way around.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D FL 8) has already assembled proposed legislation in the House to counter the Court's ruling.  Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is doing the same in the Senate.
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