Madison activists push resolution to deny constitutional rights to corporations
Wisconsin activists are promoting a symbolic resolution in the city of Madison to build support for the belief that corporations don’t deserve constitutional rights like people.
“Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights,” reads the terse resolution offered by the group Move To Amend. “Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.”
The Supreme Court’s decision last year in Citizens United vs. FEC granted corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections — federal law would legally override attempts by cities and states to reverse it.
The move was covered by the local Isthmus newspaper and heralded in a letter to the editor published in another Madison paper. “It’s time to say ‘no’ to the court’s decision,” wrote Jacqueline Kelley. “On April 5, we can vote ‘yes’ twice for the amendment as residents of both Madison and Dane County. Our future could depend upon a proper outcome.”
The full text of the resolution follows.
“RESOLVED, the City of Madison, Wisconsin, calls for reclaiming democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate influence by amending the United States Constitution to establish that:
1. Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and
2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.”