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CONGRESSMAN JIM MCGOVERN INTRODUCES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL TO OVERTURN CORPORATE PERSONHOOD
‘Corporations Are Not People’
‘PEOPLE’S RIGHTS AMENDMENT’ WOULD REPEAL CITIZENS UNITED RULING AND THE CORPORATE RIGHTS DOCTRINE
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced today a constitutional amendment bill to overturn the US Supreme Court’s January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and to make clear that corporations are not people with rights under the US Constitution. The introduction of the bill – the “People’s Rights Amendment” -- marks a major breakthrough in the growing movement across the country to end corporate personhood and restore democracy to the people.
“Corporations are not people,” said Congressman McGovern. “They do not breathe. They do not have children. They do not die in war. They are artificial entities which we the people create and, as such, we govern them, not the other way around.”
“The Citizens United ruling,” McGovern continued, “marks the most extreme extension of a corporate rights doctrine which has eroded our First Amendment and our Constitution. Now is the time for a 28th Amendment that lifts up the promise of American self-government: of, for, and by the people.”
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC swept away a century of precedent barring corporate political expenditures and unleashed a torrent of corporate spending in US elections. The ruling applied the doctrine of corporate constitutional rights, a doctrine which corporations have used in recent years to strike down various federal and state laws designed to protect the public interest.
“We are proud to stand with Congressman McGovern at this historic moment,” said John Bonifaz, the co-founder and director of Free Speech For People, a national non-partisan campaign launched on the day of the Citizens United ruling which authored the People’s Rights Amendment and has been mobilizing support throughout the nation for its enactment. “For the first time, the United States Congress now has the opportunity to debate a constitutional amendment bill that raises the fundamental question of whether people or corporations shall govern in America.”
“The nation is ready for this debate,” Bonifaz added, citing public opinion research that Free Speech For People commissioned showing widespread support across the political spectrum for a constitutional amendment like the one Congressman McGovern has introduced. “Americans understand that our democracy is at stake and that we must fight to preserve it. We see Congressman McGovern’s proposed amendment as another important strike on behalf of the 99 percent.”