Skip to main content

Congresswoman Donna Edwards has just introduced a Constitutional amendment, together with Congressman John Conyers.

Watch this video:
http://freespeechforpeople.org/...

More below!

PUBLIC INTEREST GROUPS APPLAUD REP. DONNA EDWARDS FOR FILING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL TO OVERTURN US SUPREME COURT RULING ON CORPORATE MONEY IN ELECTIONS

HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIR JOHN CONYERS, JR JOINS FILING

"Free Speech Rights Are For People, Not Corporations"

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland introduced today a constitutional amendment bill to overturn the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling allowing unlimited corporate money in elections.  Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is a co-sponsor of the amendment bill.

A coalition of public interest organizations and independent business advocates praised the Congresswoman’s action.  The groups, Voter Action, Public Citizen, the Center for Corporate Policy, and the American Independent Business Alliance, say the Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC poses a serious and direct threat to democracy.  Immediately following the Court's ruling on January 21, 2010, the groups launched a constitutional amendment campaign at www.freespeechforpeople.org to correct the judiciary's creation of corporate rights under the First Amendment over the past three decades.  

"Free speech rights are for people, not corporations," says John Bonifaz, Voter Action's legal director and the director of http://www.freespeechforpeople.org.  "Our history has included prior amendments to the US Constitution which were enacted to correct egregiously wrong decisions of the US Supreme Court directly impacting the democratic process.  The Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC demands a similar constitutional amendment response.  We applaud Congresswoman Edwards and Congressman Conyers for taking this critical step toward restoring the First Amendment to its original purpose."

"The Citizens United decision is wrong as a matter of law, history, and our republican principles of government," says Jeffrey Clements, general counsel to http://www.freespeechforpeople.org.  "The decision is devastating to our democracy, which is already dominated to a dangerous degree by corporate interest money.  Congresswoman Edwards and Congressman Conyers are showing the leadership we need in Congress at this hour."

"The First Amendment was never intended to protect the likes of ExxonMobil, Pfizer or Goldman Sachs, nor should it," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "Public Citizen thanks Representative Donna Edwards for her courage and leadership in responding to the Supreme Court majority's aggression with a proposal for a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment to its rightful purpose: guaranteeing the speech rights of real, live persons."

"An amendment allowing regulation of corporate spending in elections is not only necessary to correct the twisted logic of the Citizens United ruling," says Charlie Cray, director of the Center for Corporate Policy, "but will also go a long way towards rousing us as citizens to assert our authority over the now presumptively untouchable corporations."

"The American Independent Business Alliance is pleased to see Representatives Edwards and Conyers respond to public outrage over the Supreme Court's rewrite of our Constitution," says Jeff Milchen, co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance.  "America's independent businesses are among those which recognize that we need to limit corporations to their appropriate role--doing business. Allowing giant corporations even more power over our elections and government would be as bad for business as it is for democracy."

In addition to the filing of Congresswoman Edwards’ amendment bill, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts joined the call today for a constitutional amendment.  In testimony before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, Senator Kerry said: "[W]e need a constitutional amendment to make it clear once and for all that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals."

For more information on the constitutional amendment campaign, including a video interview of Congresswoman Edwards, see http://www.freespeechforpeople.org

UPDATE:

Amendment language:

111TH CONGRESS
2D SESSION

H. J. RES. ___
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States permitting Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations engaging in political speech.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Ms. EDWARDS of Maryland (for herself and Mr. CONYERS) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on __________________

JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States permitting Congress and the States to regulate the expenditure of funds by corporations engaging in political speech.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:

‘‘ARTICLE—

‘‘SECTION 1. The sovereign right of the people to govern being essential to a free democracy, Congress and the States may regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity.
‘‘SECTION 2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.’’.

UPDATE 2:

Corporate rights as person has been developed almost entirely in last 30 years, not 130, and almost entirely under 1st amendment.  

It is much harder to undo 130 years of precedents than 30.

Strategically, there is momentum here.

Onward!

Originally posted to David Swanson on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:59 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, Louise, seamus, norm, Thumb, JekyllnHyde, Aexia, Ed in Montana, cdreid, Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, TheC, ljb, Sylv, rick, Alma, Terri, Marek, JR, From the choir, LeislerNYC, SWicklund, Mogolori, vlajos, Chi, catdevotee, Lawdog, itsbenj, Odysseus, thinkdouble, murphy, ogre, eleming, Rayne, SarahLee, Bendygirl, El Zmuenga, casamurphy, Trendar, glitterscale, greendem, irmaly, noabsolutes, abarefootboy, Dump Terry McAuliffe, tiggers thotful spot, Pen, Nina Katarina, Gooserock, flatiron, pHunbalanced, HarlanNY, kainah, mattman, newjeffct, sacrelicious, bosdcla14, bread, Emerson, karlpk, tommurphy, musicalhair, Debby, KumarP, Shockwave, eterry, Schmuck, Fabienne, Heather in SFBay, Wintermute, Andrew C White, Hesiod, tacet, Jim in Chicago, Jay C, shayera, Aspe4, Troutfishing, Earwicker23, eeff, dsb, willyr, TX Unmuzzled, dkistner, polecat, DemDachshund, figdish, cosmicrob, frisco, marjo, SallyCat, shpilk, jancw, expat germany, New Sweden, zeitshabba, Creosote, deaniac83, strengthANDwisdom, Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal, Heart of the Rockies, HeavyJ, Dumbo, catnip, eyeswideopen, Gustogirl, opinionated, TheMomCat, concernedamerican, bronte17, Slacker Gal, missLotus, conchita, foxfire burns, Einsteinia, wonkydonkey, SamSinister, elveta, mbayrob, understandinglife, rhp, MD patriot, whenwego, djMikulec, Baldwiny, twcollier, Loquatrix, DaleA, Agathena, ask, macleme, CoolOnion, peace voter, jonah in nyc, boadicea, Minerva, PBnJ, gayntom, pattisigh, chimpy, roses, pedrito, ovals49, Ignacio Magaloni, slangist, dqueue, skwimmer, redux, Miss Blue, superba, sngmama, ornerydad, Nate Roberts, librarianman, ctsteve, Iberian, splashy, Cedwyn, lirtydies, antirove, Alna Dem, Chrisfs, nuttymango, k9disc, sunflight, SneakySnu, menodoc, scorpiorising, dejavu, Dube, psnyder, Alizaryn, nancelot, danthrax, marko, TexDem, Subversive, by foot, DeadB0y, Sycamore, ranger995, leevank, brainwave, gmb, grannyhelen, alivingston, PaulVA, potatohead, yet another liberal, Bulldawg, wdrath, BMarshall, downandout, newore, 42, noveocanes, defluxion10, wrights, nika7k, cat chew, AbsurdEyes, kalmoth, RebeccaG, lecsmith, RenaRF, Timbuk3, lcrp, Democratic Hawk, MeToo, outragedinSF, Oaktown Girl, bwintx, count, econlibVA, KateCrashes, djtyg, zerelda, ybruti, Sembtex, Silverbird, KellyB, Kitsap River, mungley, skywalker, randallt, smartgo, WisVoter, lonespark, KayCeSF, jen, Vicky, Pola Halloween, xyz, bablhous, vacantlook, Schwede, ganymeade, eve, malcontent, Irish Patti, boran2, rmx2630, Sybil Liberty, thereisnospoon, Timroff, sebastianguy99, Armand451, environmentalist, TexMex, weelzup, Julie Gulden, rapala, averageyoungman, greenskeeper, nehark, vcmvo2, joanneleon, G2geek, chumley, tovan, mediaprisoner, bloomer 101, sandblaster, Tarindel, marina, 3goldens, IamtheReason, NoMoreLies, denise b, UncleCharlie, enough, jarneys dad, CTPatriot, socks, disrael, OpherGopher, PBen, KnotIookin, Flint, willibro, Alien Abductee, grimjc, Bill Section 147, Luetta, elkhunter, panicbean, Simplify, ZappoDave, DoGooderLawyer, basquebob, RequestedUsername, paj1, marthature, terrypinder, dewtx, juliesie, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, kldave, reflectionsv37, boofdah, eru, Chaoslillith, bleeding blue, cfk, Morrigan, majcmb1, SaraBeth, Dr Squid, Pam from Calif, imfunnytoo, washingtonsmith, jimstaro, Sara R, where4art, aaraujo, Inland, GreyHawk, jcitybone, Gordon20024, skralyx, rlochow, Kayakbiker, Overseas, aarrgghh, Ice Blue, Little Lulu, most peculiar mama, Eric K, blue jersey mom, SheriffBart, libbie, bmaples, jane123, sunbro, Sandino, woobie, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Arctor, Savvy813, shiobhan, wiscmass, Silence is Complicity, kerplunk, coolbreeze, Lisa Lockwood, distraught, billl4, Team Slacker, jj24, peacestpete, JanL, Ekaterin, hcc in VA, jct, JanF, dancewater, Snud, zozie, simplicio, xaxnar, Jim R, Jim P, begone, Mehitabel9, skywriter, SoulCatcher, martini, third Party please, elliott, LeftOverAmerica, Showman, Shirl In Idaho, hlee1169, Nightprowlkitty, J Royale, john bonifaz, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, Kingsmeg, sherlyle, DrSpalding, RustyBrown, cybersaur, ferallike, njr, Opakapaka, BlueInARedState, dharmafarmer, emeraldmaiden, Ky DEM, dopper0189, 8ackgr0und N015e, tarantula, Gorette, cookseytalbott, seefleur, mooshter, Dvalkure, koNko, martyc35, kestrel9000, ruleoflaw, Audri, buhdydharma, Below the Beltway, KenBee, mrobinson, fromer, rhetoricus, Im with Rosey, Wary, carolita, fou, Lefty Coaster, campdurning, NBBooks, DarkestHour, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, gpoutney, nonnie9999, Glorfindel, gatorcog, imabluemerkin, paul2port, Doctor Frog, real world chick, Terminus, JVolvo, Sagebrush Bob, plf515, armadillo, bleeding heart, Preston S, MarciaJ720, ZombyWoof, Dinclusin, dirtfarmer, mangusta, Dagoril, joshc123, 5x5, Cenobyte, IL clb, nother lurker, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, means are the ends, cherryXXX69, blueoregon, BoojumSte, chapel hill guy, Compostings, shaharazade, AmySmith, kurious, pkbarbiedoll, Granny Doc, Johnathan Ivan, louavul, Hedwig, Temmoku, blueintheface, AllanTBG, markthshark, sasher, mapman, Quicklund, Nulwee, OHdog, ZenTrainer, NonnyO, AntKat, BentLiberal, tegrat, janosnation, pale cold, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, nathguy, YoyogiBear, lightfoot, A Mad Mad World, BeninSC, hooper, asilomar, nobody at all, Habitat Vic, Haningchadus14, Ann Galloway, Cat Whisperer, Loudoun County Dem, oscarsmom, Deadicated Marxist, desertguy, Cottagerose, california keefer, leema, offgrid, gloriana, Positronicus, threegoal, Outrider, edsbrooklyn, DvCM, la urracca, wildweasels, ebiker, Cofcos, HeartlandLiberal, Jimdotz, greenchiledem, ezdidit, mommyof3, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, deepeco, DWG, sfbob, from the puggle, aliasalias, newpioneer, bnasley, malharden, Kyle the Mainer, Drowning Wave, Canyon Lefty, Kentucky Kid, HCKAD, getlost, jayden, jedennis, BLUE YETI, ubertar, martyinsfo, letsgetreal, mp, Uberbah, boxer babe, Oreo, mudslide, millwood, Moderation, jayskew, Jack the R, jhop7, carpunder, hopi13, Zapp Branigan, owl06, NorthlandLiberal, Rumarhazzit, technolinguist, journeyman, Probus, malie, Got a Grip, Dar Nirron, Brahman Colorado, madgranny, M Sullivan, LWelsch, ImpeachKingBushII, tj iowa, Zydekos, TexasTwister, cloudbustingkid, zorp, cacamp, sable, Predictor, South Park Democrat, vet, wuod kwatch, Terra Mystica, roguetrader2000, TomP, gizmo59, VA Breeze, MKinTN, Michael91, Dem in the heart of Texas, Erik W, seriously70, gzodik, glutz78, condorcet, Louisiana Fiddle Gal, ShadowSD, DraftChickenHawks, World Citizen, MikePhoenix, scooter in brooklyn, ScottyUrb, OleHippieChick, Senor Unoball, Tchrldy, angel65, NewDealer, Satyanand, IdahoDem, Wes Opinion, VA gentlewoman, billvb, filby, blindyone, Mannabass, ajr111240, lineatus, Mother of Zeus, Akonitum, KJG52, beltane, monkeybrainpolitics, fnord warrior, Calamity Jean, Lujane, royce, pamelabrown, toddpw, hwmnbn, dewley notid, geomoo, Jake Williams, pickandshovel, MsWings, Jeff Y, Ladyhawk, rubine, saildude, alnep, Seamus D, royalscam, Gemina13, glendaw271, bakenjuddy, meldroc, costello7, o the umanity, Cobbler, valsagem, luckylizard, GoracleFan, DixieDishrag, BYw, MizC, Blueslide, A Man Called Gloom, allie123, HarpboyAK, Zikar, Robobagpiper, pilotmama, SpiffPeters, In her own Voice, HoosierDeb, Mike Taylor, revelwoodie, watercarrier4diogenes, lissablack, CIndyCasella, squarewheel, Purple Priestess, forgore, TennesseeGurl, maxcat06, oldliberal, mos1133, legendmn, Celtic Merlin, satanicpanic, wv voice of reason, maggiejean, cameoanne, Sun dog, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, multilee, pileta, Ran3dy, rubyclaire, smellybeast, danoland, DontTaseMeBro, wtxdem, Texanomaly, DeepLooker, fille americaine, Rick Aucoin, aufklaerer, emboyo, Tomsank, The Dead Man, juca, Discipline28, holger smed, rockwilder, Boudicia Dark, bsmechanic, banjolele, Notus, RustyCannon, Nebraskablue, Sarge in Seattle, Norm in Chicago, Partisan Progressive, leawood, velvet blasphemy, Namtrix, demgolfer, BlueInRedCincy, CamillesDad1, JesseCW, EquationDoc, Tax problems, DefendOurConstitution, wmdrpa, dRefractor, VT ConQuest, geodemographics, marzook, obiterdictum, TobyRocksSoHard, Calfacon, MKSinSA, aj2k, DClark4129, Rick in Oz, Lopez99, papahaha, Denise Oliver Velez, kevinpdx, aztronut, Shelley99, Exquisite, marcirish, IreGyre, dalfireplug, DreamyAJ, transparent, sfarkash, Green Karma, eclecticbrotha, 57andFemale, romwriter, maxzj05, Knarfc, brushysage, sherijr, A Voice, northernlights, P Mikkelsen, JDog42, etara, Standard Deviant, Adept2u, davespicer, math4barack, deviant24x, Emalene, citisven, Leftcandid, gorebeatbush2, French Imp, LookingUp, catilinus, JaceInVA, Larsstephens, Words In Action, ruscle, Amber6541, Just Bob, bronxcharlie, Culebrito Blanco, ZAP210, brentbent, ppl can fly, PrincessPinkyPie, BasketCase, hillgiant, confitesprit, mjanem, angry liberaltarian, awcomeon, lmalave, bglv, rb137, marabout40, TidBits, pyegar, p gorden lippy, flitedocnm, Obamican08, budr, veracityus, LaughingPlanet, The Jester, marcus38, pdx kirk, 1000 Points of Fright, politik, amk for obama, Interceptor7, fidellio, stunzeed, Anima, Tcoopy, yellowdogsal, Crabby Abbey, Raine315, LOrion, Ronald Singleterry, Lost and Found, freeport beach PA, Radical def, legalchic, RJP9999, polar bear, puffmeister, ribletsonthepan, Monkey Man Hermit, calichristi, cordgrass, lanae, ctlrick, tomnobombadil, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, Benintn, HartfordTycoon, scarlet slipper, tellinya, DrFitz, peacearena, ricardomath, Jaimas, Surly Cracker, Earth Ling, standupguy, sluggahjells, addisnana, Weaselina, Betty Pinson, martini drinking atheist, alethea, dclarke, roystah, elengul, MsGrin, skindig55, Nada Lemming, Loose Fur, cocinero, soaglow, HylasBrook, Actbriniel, slice, not2plato, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, BrowniesAreGood, gobears2000, spindr27, Colorado is the Shiznit, bmat, heart of a quince, allenjo, Medina Mahmoud, I love OCD, penny8611, Birchwood, Oldowan, Valerie8435, StateofEuphoria, StuffOfInterest, sfcouple, mateohussein, Sofjwoman, Kharafina, anyname, Eclectablog, QuestionAuthority, Mistral Wind, PAJ in Ohio, twindad9, BlueHead, writerkirk, Situational Lefty, Liberal OC Woman, bookgirl, rg611, QnATL, page394, Alice Olson, AsianAfricanAmerican, thethinveil, marleycat, semctydem, laurnj, harrynumbernine, burana, Cinnamon Rollover, Wolf10, RadicalRoadRat, theone718, DruidQueen, GMander, KVoimakas, gokinsmen, moldyfolky, Grandma Susie, MRA NY, loblolly, vzfk3s, Vtdblue, MCinNH, Diggler, IL JimP, corvaire, pensivelady, Liberal Mole, MinistryOfTruth, virtuerules, VTCC73, erichiro, stevie avebury, CMYK, SweetLittleOkie, Atilla the Honey Bunny, lincoln deschain, daveusf, innereye, blackjackal, weisja4, Sunspots, zenox, Ezekial 23 20, thejoshuablog, DRo, Tom Seaview, Zagzula, SouthernLiberalinMD, Reliefpitcher, jaebone, glower, ParkRanger, MichaelNY, allergywoman, PrometheusUnbound, too young to give up, johnnr2, elizabethgurley, Rejoinder, DataMonster, TULIPS4DOLPHINS, sciphile, AnnetteK, RobJohnsonJr, pantherq, mod2lib, James Robinson, BadaBoom, AZ Independent, Just Keep it Simple Stupid, Heart n Mind, DeanNC, voodou, OHknighty, DM4, cwsmoke, James Renruojos

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site