Minnesota could be the 17th state to support a US Constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and the constitutional rights, belonging to human beings, that have been given to corporations. When the Supreme Court knowingly handed down a ruling in Citizens v United that said corporations were persons and that the cash they flooded elections with was free speech, we should have, as citizens of our respective states, demanded the removal and disbanding of this court. Any legitimacy they may have had has long since dissipated as one unconstitutional ruling after another has been handed down that adversely affects the daily lives of the general public.
The rationale for this ruling was that supposedly, because corporations are made up of people, that meant the corporation was a “person”. Actually, not. The corporation exists on paper as a business, doing business as a collective entity. It has no life apart from this collective.
With respect to Citizens v United, the question should have been:
Is it possible to breathe life into a paper entity? Thereby creating a living, breathing person with Constitutional rights and protections.
The distrust of the Supreme Court is well-earned. Whether conservatives or liberals control the court makes no difference. This court serves political and corporate interests, not those of the Constitution and the common populations of the states.
Failing to amend the Constitution to prohibit corporate personhood, and cash as free speech for paper collectives, the bill calls for an Article V Constitutional Convention (Con-Con). While on one side of this it may seem to be a reasonable idea, on the other, it could be one of the greatest catastrophe’s to befall us as a nation. A Con-Con could result in unintended and undesirable consequences as it would more than likely be used to undermine what is left of our Constitution today as special interests including mega corporations, bought favor from delegates and/or those with extreme political ideologies. In order to amend the Constitution the States can propose amendments separately. Once 3/4 sign on, the amendment is now part of the Constitution and the law of the land……as long as we can keep the Supreme Court from undermining the changes.
Beware Article V! Understanding the Risk of a Constitutional Convention!
In an excellent article from the Tenth Amendment Center:
First, it is dubious whether the Constitution even gives Congress power to regulate the source and amount of campaign contributions and expenditures.
The article is well worth taking your time to read as it does explain what the court actually did in its ruling. While I do not agree totally with the conclusions reached by the Center, it is relevant to the discussion and debate.
As it stands now here in Minnesota, it appears that most Democrats support the dissolution of corporate personhood, while most Republicans are gearing up to fight it.
The full text of the HF 726, Minnesota, is below.
A joint resolution
1.2requesting that Congress propose a constitutional amendment and, if Congress does
1.3not propose an amendment, applying to Congress to call a constitutional convention
1.4to propose an amendment clarifying that the rights protected under the Constitution
1.5are the rights of natural persons and not the rights of artificial entities and that
1.6spending money to influence elections is not speech under the First Amendment.
1.7WHEREAS, under Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the Congress,
1.8whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to the
1.10WHEREAS, under Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the Congress, on
1.11the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for
1.12proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that shall be valid to all intents
1.13and purposes if ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions
1.14in three-fourths thereof, as one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by Congress;
1.16BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it requests that
1.17Congress propose an amendment to the Constitution that shall substantially read as follows:
1.18″(1) The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural
1.20(2) Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities,
1.21established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights
1.22under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or
2.1(3) The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal,
2.2State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
2.3(4) Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and
2.4expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all
2.5citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no
2.6person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any
2.7way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
2.8(5) Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions
2.9and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
2.10(6) The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be
2.11speech under the 1st Amendment.
2.12(7) Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of
2.14BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if Congress does not propose the amendment language
2.15or substantially similar amendment language as contained in this resolution, the Legislature of the
2.16State of Minnesota applies to the Congress of the United States to call a constitutional convention
2.17for the purpose of proposing the amendment language or substantially similar amendment language
2.18as contained in this resolution as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
2.19BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the State of Minnesota and the
2.20people of Minnesota demand that if Congress does not propose the amendment language in this
2.21resolution and if at least two-thirds of state legislatures have applied to Congress to call for a
2.22constitutional convention to adopt the same or substantially similar constitutional amendment
2.23language contained in this resolution, then the Congress must exercise its constitutional duty to
2.24call a constitutional convention, and that the constitutional convention shall be called within six
2.25months from the date that at least two-thirds of state legislatures have made the same or similar
2.26application to Congress; and
2.27BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the State of Minnesota calls on other
2.28states to join with the Legislature of the State of Minnesota in this action by passing the same
2.29or similar resolutions; and
2.30BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of Minnesota is directed to
2.31prepare copies of this resolution and transmit them to the Speaker and the Clerk of the United
3.1States House of Representatives, the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the
3.2United States Secretary of State, and Minnesota’s Senators and Representatives in Congress.