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Curry County Democrats Policy Position: Corporate Personhood

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Curry County
Democratic Central Committee

 

Resolution of the Curry County Democratic Central Committee In Opposition to the Doctrine of Corporate Personhood

BACKGROUND

Beginning in the 19th Century a series of Supreme Court decisions incrementally granted many of the same rights to corporations that are granted to natural people under the United States Constitution. Most recently the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission Supreme Court decision invalidated provisions of the McCain–Feingold campaign finance law based on the First Amendment protection of free speech, reversing previous Supreme Court decisions on this issue. This decision allows unlimited independent corporate expenditures to influence elections. The aggregate of law and court ruling granting to corporations the constitutional rights of natural persons has come to be knows as the Doctrine of Corporate Personhood.

RESOLUTION

  • We the Curry County Democratic Central Committee (of Oregon) recognize the disproportionate and increasing influence of corporate interests in the United States political process.

  • We assert that the Doctrine of Corporate Personhood is a violation of both the spirit and letter of the United States Constitution, giving corporations by virtue of their enormous wealth a level of influence in government affairs not envisioned by the framers.

  • We assert that the power granted to corporations by virtue of the Doctrine of Corporate Personhood is not compatible with our democratic system of government.

  • Therefore, we the Curry County Democratic Central Committee admonish the United States Congress and the Oregon State Legislature to enact all appropriate and necessary laws and statutes, including constitutional amendments, to limit the protections of corporations under the Federal and State Constitutions to only those that are necessary to permit corporations to enter into contracts, sue and be sued, own property, and buy and sell goods and services, with all other constitutional rights and protections reserved exclusively for natural people.

Ratified by The Curry County Democratic Central Committee on April 27, 2011.

Bob Horel

Chairperson, Curry County Democratic Central Committee

READING LIST

The New York Times

Editorial: The Rights of Corporations

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/22/opinion/22tue1.html

Corporate Personhood Timeline

http://www.ratical.org/corporations/ToPRaP.html

Sample Constitutional Amendment

from Free Speech for the People:

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons..

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

Organizations Opposing Corporate Personhood

Free Speech for the People

http://freespeechforpeople.org

Move to Amend

http://movetoamend.org/

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