Nolan Introduces Bipartisan Constitutional Amendment Declaring Corporations Are Not People, Money is Not Free Speech
[WASHINGTON D.C.] U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, joined by the Move to Amend coalition and a bipartisan group of his colleagues including Republican Congressman Walter Jones, has introduced bipartisan legislation (H.J.Res.48) as the original chief sponsor calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision. The Citizens United decision granted corporations and other legal entities the right of free speech under the First Amendment and opened federal election campaigns to the free flow of billions of unrestricted and unreported dollars.
“It’s time to establish once and for all that corporations are not people, money is not free speech, and our elections and public policy-making process are not for sale to the highest corporate bidders,” Nolan said. “It’s time to take the molding and shaping of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from corporate lobbyists, and give it back to the American people. We must divert Congress’s focus away from the corporate interests of millionaires and billionaires and return it back to creating good-paying jobs and rebuilding our middle class.”
The Move to Amend coalition (www.movetoamend.org) was formed in 2009 in preparation for the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Today, the coalition of more than 380,000 people and hundreds of organizations has helped pass over 600 resolutions in municipalities including Duluth, MN, and local governments across the nation in support of what they term the “We the People” Amendment. Sixteen state legislatures have passed similar resolutions.
Since returning to Congress in 2013 after a 32 year hiatus, Nolan has railed against the huge amounts of outside money this decision has allowed into federal campaigns to fund negative advertising – forcing Members to spend an inordinate amount of time raising funds to counter the attacks instead of doing the business of Congress.
In announcing his legislation, Nolan further explained that the power corporate money has over campaigns and elections transcends to enormous and destructive influence over our public policies – whether it’s tax and trade policies that encourage the export of good American jobs or banking and investment policies that protect Wall Street interests over consumers.
Joining Nolan’s efforts, original co-sponsors of his bill include U.S. Reps. Walter Jones (NC), Mark Pocan (WI), Matthew Cartwright (PA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Keith Ellison (MN), Betty McCollum (MN), Mark Takano (CA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Peter DeFazio (OR), Beto O’Rourke (TX), Louise Slaughter (NY), Barbara Lee (CA), John Conyers (MI), Eliot Engel (NY), Paul Tonko (NY), Jamie Raskin (MD), Ro Khanna (CA), Michael Capuano (MA), Donald Norcross (NJ) and Ted Lieu (CA).