Lots Happening on Corporate Personhood Issues!
by Marybeth Gardam
|Image by Phil Roeder via Flickr Creative Commons License|
Suddenly, the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to re-consider its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, a ruling that has threatened our democracy. The Court is now faced with a recent case from Montana, about that state’s century-old Corrupt Practices Act, which bars corporate spending on campaigns there. The Montana Supreme Court recently upheld the law. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently put a stay on that state court ruling, allowing corporate money to flow unabated in Montana this year.
Justices Ginsburg and Breyer made an extraordinary statement along with that stay, essentially calling on their fellow Justices to treat the Montana case as their opportunity to re-consider Citizens United:
“Montana’s experience, and experience elsewhere since this Court’s decision in Citizens United... make it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." ... A petition for certiorari will give the Court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”
There’s suddenly a real chance that the Supreme Court could revisit Citizens United! So...the CvD Committee is asking WILPF branches across the U.S. to write letters to the editor (LTEs) of your local news media to urge support for the Supreme Court to reconsider this disastrous ruling.
Free Speech For People is one of the groups pushing for this. They’ve created a helpful letter writing device to make it easy to send an LTE. You can use the device or simply use their talking points to help construct your own letter. Click here for the link to their page.
Corporate Personhood International News
By the end of February, the Supreme Court will hear a case with many potential ramifications for American and international law, and for corporate responsibility for human rights around the globe. The justices will be asked to decide whether the corporations to which they have been extending the rights of individuals should also be held accountable for crimes against human rights, just as individuals are. You can read more about the stunning case in Paraguay that has pushed this decision to the forefront (based on the 1789 Alien Torte Statute) in this New York Times article. This case could force the Supremes to confront the rights and accountability of corporations as persons, here and abroad.
News at Move to Amend
The CvD Committed encourages branches to join with MoveToAmend.org to pursue signature campaigns and ballot initiatives in cities across America, calling for a Constitutional Amendment to affirm that a corporation is not a person and money is not speech. MTA is also preparing for July 4th actions to call attention to their efforts. Check out the recorded webinars at www.MoveToAmend.org.
Take the Show on the Road
WILPF has a long history of working on corporate power. Use these presentations to demonstrate your branch’s expertise and commitment to local personhood issues.
Branches may order the CvD RoadShow DVD to take a number of excellent presentations on the road to other organizations in your area. For $10 plus shipping, order today by emailing Marybeth Gardam at firstname.lastname@example.org. See more ideas for resources at www.EndCorporateRule.us.