J4154

Memorializing Congress to propose an amendment to the US Constitution to provide that corporations are not entitled to the entirety ...

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J4154


LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Congress to propose an amendment to
the United States Constitution to provide that corporations are not
entitled to the entirety of protections or "rights" of natural persons,
specifically so that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the
electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected
speech

WHEREAS, The First Amendment to the United States Constitution was
designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations;
and
WHEREAS, The Court's ruling in CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTIONS
COMMISSION will allow unprecedented amounts of corporate money to influ-
ence the American political process, which constitutes a direct threat
to our democratic institutions; and
WHEREAS, In his 80-page dissent in the CITIZENS UNITED case, Justice
Stevens called the decision "a radical change in the law" that ignores
"the overwhelming majority of justices who have served on this court"
and stated that "In the context of election to public office, the
distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant...
[Corporations] cannot vote or run for office, because they may be
managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interest may conflict in
fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters"; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court's ruling in CITIZENS UNITED
V. FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION will now permit unprecedented spending
of corporate money in our political process unrivaled by any campaign
expenditure totals in United States history; and
WHEREAS, An individual can use his or her money to speak on his or her
singular behalf; the money corporations use to speak belongs to its
shareholders, who presumably come from disparate political ideologies;
and
WHEREAS, Individual shareholders are inextricably absorbed into the
corporation's powerful political action, regardless of their individual
political beliefs and affiliations; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court's ruling in CITIZENS UNITED
V. FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION threatens to dilute an individual's
power as a voting citizen and compromise the democratic process; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court's ruling in CITIZENS UNITED
V. FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION presents a serious and direct threat to
our democracy; and
WHEREAS, The people of the United States have previously used the
constitutional amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong
decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of our
democracy and self-government; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Congress of the United States be and hereby is
respectfully memorialized by this Legislative Body to express opposition
to the United States Supreme Court ruling in CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL
ELECTIONS COMMISSION; and be it further
RESOLVED, That the Congress of the United States be and hereby is
respectfully memorialized by this Legislative Body to propose an amend-
ment to the United States Constitution to provide that corporations are
not entitled to the protections or "rights" of natural persons relating
to the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process
which no longer shall be a form of constitutionally protected speech and
Congress and the States may fully regulate all election contributions
and expenditures; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the President of the Senate of the United States, the Speaker

of the House of Representatives, and to each member of the Congress of
the United States from the State of New York.

actions

  • 20 / Apr / 2012
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative

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