Senate Republicans Block Debate on Brennan-Squadron Corporate Personhood Resolution

Resolution Urges Constitutional Amendment: Corporations Are Not Entitled to Same Rights as People

ALBANY – Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron announced that the Senate Republican leadership has blocked a floor debate on his resolution which states that corporations are not entitled to the same protections or rights as people when it comes to money in politics.

The resolution, sponsored by Assemblyman James Brennan in the Assembly, responds to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the advent of Super PACs, and corporate money in politics. It urges Congress to propose an amendment to the 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”

The full text of the resolution can be read here.

"Time and time again, the Senate Republicans have chosen corporate interests over the interests of real people. The refusal to even have a debate is an alarming trend -- and it should concern all New Yorkers whose voices continue to be washed out by the flood of corporate influence in our politics," said Senator Squadron. "It's time for a real debate, and for New York to make clear that corporations and special interests are not entitled to the same rights as people in our democracy."

"The American people are watching their democracy being undermined as unlimited corporate funds wash through the national election through the SUPER-PACS.  This issue must be debated, not buried," said Assemblyman Brennan.

The blocking of debate on this resolution follows the Senate Republicans’ efforts to stall the Squadron-Lancman “Corporate Political Activity Accountability to Shareholders Act,” which would make New York a national leader in the fight against Citizens United by requiring shareholder approval for corporate political contributions, public disclosure of the contributions, and justification of the business rationale for making them. After preventing the bill from moving out of committee, the Republican leadership sent the bill to the Rules Committee where it will languish indefinitely with no debate.