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Amend the Constitution: Corporations are not persons and money is not speechi
Note: Footnotes by Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community, the sponsors of the AIW. UUJEC Contact: Michael Greenman – (614)-439-4768; firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested individuals should visit and “Like” Facebook page: “Move to Amend – Unitarian Universalists”. Approved by the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly Plenary on 23 June 2013
BECAUSE Unitarian Universalists believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every human person, and in the use of the democratic process in society at large, and because approval of the 2011 AIW opposing Citizens United paved the way for the UUA to take the spiritual lead in the passage of a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations are not persons and money is not speech; WHEREAS a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings have established corporations as persons, equated money with speech, and eliminated limits on amounts that corporations can contribute to political campaigns and political advertising; WHEREAS these court-created doctrines have flooded the political landscape with unprecedented amounts of money from corporations and other interests, corrupting our democratic processes and putting our entire democracy at risk, and WHEREAS Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides for amendments, a process that has occurred 27 times including seven constitutional amendments that have overturned U.S. Supreme Court decisions; and WHEREAS there are pending proposals in Congress and states that need action NOW to achieve passage of an amendment; WHEREAS the UUJEC (Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community), UUA (board of the Unitarian Universalist Association), the UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee)ii and various congregations have already endorsed a constitutional amendment; and
WHEREAS an amendment to the Constitution is needed to overturn Citizens Unitediii and eliminate both corporate personhood and money as speech. THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly instructs the Unitarian Universalist Association to make their endorsement formal and public, supporting efforts to amend the Constitution; and BE IT RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly further requests member congregations or their social justice committees to pass resolutions of support and endorse a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations are not persons and money is not speechiv; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the 2013 General Assembly encourages Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministries nationwide (www.uustatenetworks.org) and other affiliated Unitarian Universalist organizations to join this important cause. Working together with other groups and other faith traditions, we can make a significant impact to further the progress of a constitutional amendment to preserve the constitutional rights that our founding fathers intended solely for human persons, restore the effective voice of the people and save our democracy.
“Corporations are not persons and money is not speech” - None of the other amendments proposed both of these and therefore can not achieve the final objective, but would just make minor “course adjustments” that would leave the basic problem un affected.
Since Move to Amend is the only amendment that has been endorsed by the UUA and the UUSC, (as far as we know) whether mentioned or not, it still remains the one to which the AIW refers.
None of the other amendments currently in Congress involve focusing on efforts in our organizations at the grass roots. The amended AIW retains that resolve, and Move to Amend is the only group focusing on the bottom-up approach (similar to the Women’s Suffrage Movement’s 19th Amendment).
Citizens United is a symptom of the facts of corporate personhood and money as speech, not the cause. Removing it does nothing to the basic challenges to our democracy represented by the two principal issues. However, having it mentioned, and emphasized, serves the purpose of attracting the attention of those for whom CU continues to be a principal issue. So our effort is in fact reinforced