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Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:40 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Overturning Citizen’s United Not Enough – We the People Amendment Introduced



On Monday, February 11th at 10AM at the National Press Club in Washington DC, Move to Amend will join members of Congress as they introduce Move to Amend’s “We the People Amendment”, an amendment that clearly and unequivocally states that:

1) Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies; and

2) Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

The “We the People Amendment” is being introduced by Representative Rick Nolan (DFL-Minnesota) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin).

http://WeThePeopleAmendment.org

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How much different was our politics the day before Citizen’s United and the day after? How different would the outcome of the 2012 elections be absent Citizen’s United? It would not be very different.

There are two reasons this is likely the case. The first is that each side uses the same rules to maximize their political dollars and diverging interests are currently relatively equal. The second is that there is a point of diminishing returns. After TV, Radio, print, and online ads are saturated in a relatively balanced manner from both sides, they become simply fog to the average American citizen, and no longer has influence. At that point ideology is the driving factor. For several elections, this country has been voting as a center left country and it continues to vote that way.

What is the concern then? The concern is the same; the corrosive effect money has on our politics. Favors are owed to those big donors on both sides of the aisle. Moreover, big donors usually find a way to have their foot in every door and as such donate to each side.

The Citizens United case in effect equates money and speech. Since we have freedom of speech, it effectively removed the government’s authority to regulate unlimited political contributions.



There is only one solution to this corruption, a constitutional amendment that specifically decouples money from speech and removes corporate personhood. This will ensure that while free speech is maintained, the use of money in politics can be regulated. Moreover it will remove the ability of corporate entities of any kind (corporations, non-profits, unions, etc.) from claiming free speech rights and other rights of living breathing human beings.

Many organizations are already working on constitutional amendments purported to solve the problem. Most solely concentrate on the overturning of "Citizens United" or codifying that money is not speech. Again the question must be asked, what is the difference pre and post Citizens United. The organization Move to Amend (http://movetoamend.org) is the only one currently working on an all-encompassing amendment that will solve the corruption, once and for all as it covers both the decoupling of money and speech, as well as removing corporate personhood.

Move to Amend, by means of its over 160 affiliates have already gotten resolutions passed at the city, county, and state levels. Following the grassroots method of building awareness through the resolution process is likely the most effective way of generating popular support for real change in our electoral and political process.

This is how the process of real change begins. It is the engagement of the grassroots and electoral politics.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply BREAKING NEWS: Overturning Citizen’s United Not Enough – We the People Amendment Introduced (Original post)
egbertowillies Feb 2013 OP
brooklynite Feb 2013 #1
egbertowillies Feb 2013 #2
onenote Feb 2013 #6
bemildred Feb 2013 #3
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #5
RudynJack Feb 2013 #8
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #9
RudynJack Feb 2013 #10
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #11
RudynJack Feb 2013 #12
NYC Liberal Feb 2013 #13
RudynJack Feb 2013 #14
midnight Feb 2013 #4
rachel1 Feb 2013 #7

Response to egbertowillies (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 10:49 PM

1. This is a poor Amendment...

...if the goal is to limit the impact of Citizen's United on campaign spending, then write the Amendment to limit Campaign spending. To say that ALL rights are denied to Corporations means Unions, Liberal advocacy groups etc. has no guaranteed speech rights. Is that what you want?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 11:32 PM

2. You have not seen the amendment. It is pretty solid and will be released tomorrow.

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Response to egbertowillies (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 03:59 PM

6. I've seen it and its not "solid" at all. Its pathetic

I've posted its text below. Here is a list of cases that would have come out differently had this amendment been in place:

NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware: holding that NAACP (a corporate entity) was protected by the First Amendment and could not be sued for damages for organizing a boycott against Claiborne Hardware.

NY Times v. US: holding that the NY Times could not be prevented from publishing the Pentagon Papers.

Flynt v. Hustler: holding that Hustler magazine could not be sued for running a satirical ad that allegedly caused Jerry Falwell to suffer "emotional distress"

Times Film Corp. v. Chicago : striking down a Chicago law that required movie companies to submit their movies to a government agency for review before they could be shown.

Kingsley Int'l Pictures Corp v. Regents of the University of the State of New York: striking down a law that made it unlawful to show a motion picture whose "subject matter is adultery presented as being right and desirable for certain people"

Some other situations that would be allowed by the amendment:

The break in of the Democratic National HQ at the Watergate could have been accomplished lawfully since the DNC would not be protected against unreasonable, warrantless searches and seizures. (Indeed, the government could, without warrant or cause, seize all of the records of DU, or MoveOn or the teachers union). Any information you share with a corporation (purchases, memberships, etc etc -- you have no privacy expectation if you share it with a corporation that has no constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Planned Parenthood providing information about birth control or your local pharmacy selling condoms or birth control pills? Could be banned. As an individual you would have the right to obtain such information and/or use birth control -- you just couldn't get it from a corporate entity or someone working for a corporate entity.

Not solid. Not solid at all.



Section 1.

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.

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.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 07:44 AM

3. This has much broader goals than that. nt

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:43 PM

5. Not in the constitution, no. Let those limited privileges for corporations be established

by federal law. Many important legal protections are federal law and not guaranteed by the constitution. Medical privacy, for example, is codified in law (HIPAA) rather than in the constitution. That doesn't mean it isn't protected.

Let "rights" for corporations (speech, protection against search and seizure, etc.) be codified and defined by federal and state law, subject to reasonable limitations.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:35 AM

8. But without the constitutional guarantee of equal protection

what's to stop a state from giving all rights to Walmart and none whatsoever to Planned Parenthood?

It's possible to address Citizens United without this overreaching and poorly thought-out amendment.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:45 AM

9. What's to stop Congress from repealing all medical privacy laws?

What's to stop them from repealing the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act? What's to stop them from scrapping Social Security altogether? All of those protections are guaranteed by federal law not constitutional amendments. But that doesn't mean they aren't secure. Public pressure ensures that.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:48 AM

10. Where's the political will

to do that?

You can't deny there IS a powerful political will on the right to destroy Planned Parenthood, Unions, etc.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:56 AM

11. This is about all corporations, not just some.

A corporation -- whether it be Walmart or Planned Parenthood -- is not a person and should not be recognized as being entitled to rights belonging to people. Legal entities such as corporations should be afforded limited privileges, as strictly defined and regulated by law.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:59 AM

12. No thanks.

I don't trust Alabama, say, to be fair to unions and non-profits. And in your scenario, there's no reason walmart and Planned Parenthood couldn't be given drastically different rights.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:09 AM

13. So it's your contention that everything should be enshrined in the constitution

or else it isn't protected? Instead of passing federal laws we should amend the constitution? That's totally ridiculous. Federal laws offer many protections not guaranteed in the constitution, and they do it just fine.

It wouldn't be up to Alabama; it would be up to Congress and the federal government.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:12 AM

14. Feel free to imagine

any contention on my part. It's easier just to ask for clarification, though.

We disagree on this. That's all. I see little point in going back and forth - you've made your points, I've made mine. We still disagree. It's not a big deal.

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Response to egbertowillies (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:46 AM

4. Let the amendment begin.... K&R

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Response to egbertowillies (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 06:53 PM

7. K&R

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