- June 12, 2016
- All Day
- 10341 Water Street Highway 42 Ephraim, WI 54211
By Jim Black
At the annual meeting on June 12, a resolution will be a presented to amend the U.S. Constitution. The resolution is simple. If affirmed by the congregation, it asserts that corporations are not people and money is not free speech. The resolution has no force other than to express the beliefs of the congregation. The resolution is our voice to the state legislature and the U.S. Congress.
The U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens’ United v. FEC held that corporations have a constitutional right to free speech. This decision gave birth to Super PACs. A Super PAC can spend an unlimited amount of money supporting a candidate or advocating against a candidate. A candidate does not communicate with nor control a Super PAC. Because of this wall between the candidate and the Super PAC, there is the belief that no give-and-take between the Super PAC and the candidate exists. In this author’s opinion, the manager of a Super PAC spending millions of dollars to get someone elected will expect something from the elected official in return.
Supreme Court Justice Stevens, in his dissent, noted, “… Corporations have no conscience, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ’personhood’ often serves a useful legal function. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
The only real way to overturn a U.S. Supreme Court decision is by a constitutional amendment. There are 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Seven of these amendments overturned US Supreme Court decisions. For a U.S. constitutional amendment to become the law of the land, 38 states must ratify the proposed amendment. Sixteen states have called for an amendment to the US Constitution. The legislatures in Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware have signed a letter in support of the amendment.
Over 56 faith and ethical organizations have passed the resolution. Over 40 of these faith and ethical organizations are Unitarian Universalist groups. If the UUFDC passes the resolution, we will be voicing our support of a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood to the state legislature and Washington DC.