Thank you Supreme Court

United States Supreme Court
U.S. Supreme Court Bldg.
Washington, DC 20543

Dear United States Supreme Court,

Thank you.

In particular, the majority of you who voted in Citizens United vs FEC to grant corporations greater First Amendment rights to influence elections.

Thank you The Roberts Court:

John Roberts Jr.
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Clarence Thomas
Samuel Alito

I thank you both personally and professionally.

You have now made my life easier.

You see, for the past dozen years, a relative handful of people across the country have been ranting and raving about the dangers of corporate “personhood.”

We’ve discussed how corporations are treated just like human beings under the US Constitution. Protected, shielded and insulated by the Bill of Rights. Possessing 1st, 4th, 5th and other Bill of Rights Amendment protections, as well as 14th Amendment due process and equal protection rights.

We’ve educated, advocated and organized.

We’ve helped fellow citizens understand how such absurd constitutional doctrines are destructive to anything remotely resembling democracy, self-governance and self-determination.

We’ve worked to show how the presence of corporate constitutional rights was connected to an absence of legitimate elections, affordable health care, a clean environment, good jobs, and all the other issues average people care about.

And we’ve challenged the legitimacy of private corporate cash in public elections.

Yet for most of the time, our efforts have come across as merely provocative, quaint, historical, or interesting.

Not relevant. Not current. Not appropriate.

Not anymore. Thanks to you. Thanks to this decision.

Thanks to your blatant, revolting and in your face pronouncement that corporations are virtually identical to human beings when it comes to First Amendment political free speech. Nine unelected appointed for lifers extending in perpetuity political free speech life to entities that exist solely through legal charters imposed by the government of We The People.

The average human person with any amount of common sense knows that corporations have no body and no mind. They are not persons. They should have no speech.

But they have more now. Thanks to you.

It’s quite true that corporations using their previously granted constitutional rights ALREADY exert governing roles via their control of production, technology, jobs, capital, trade, and property. Investment and production decisions that shape our communities and rule our lives are ALREADY made in boardrooms, regulatory agencies, and courtrooms. In the public realm, corporations ALREADY dominate elections, write and pass laws, educate our judges in jurisprudence, and mold public policy debate. And they ALREADY exert influence on law schools, professors and students, on our educational system, and on our very culture.

But it’s not been all that clear or obvious. It’s never been a strong enough reality to supplant the myths and lore of democracy.

Not until now. Thanks to you.

You are following, in fact, a hallowed tradition.

A century and half ago those who came before you made what may be a comparable decision. It was called Dred Scott vs Sanford.

That’s the Supreme Court decision that upheld Article 4, Section 2 of the United States Constitution declaring slaves weren’t human beings but property.

Dred Scott affirmed that horror. To the anger, furor and outrage of people everywhere. It led not to further regulating slavery or creating a Slavery Protection Agency but to an abolition movement to do away with slavery forever.

Citizens United will do the same today.

It already is. It will continue. It will expand.

More than 40,000 human persons have just in the first few days signed a petition at MovetoAmend.org calling to amend the US Constitution. To abolish corporate personhood — corporate constitutional rights. To legalize democracy.

Just like Dred Scott did 150 years ago.

Your decision will launch a movement that will eventually and inevitably amend the Constitution. To expand the rights of people. And abolish injustice

Slavery 150 years ago. Corporate constitutional rights today.

Thank you for making educating and mobilizing citizens everywhere into a social movement so much easier.

Not in the short run though.

Corporations will use their treasury funds now to directly fund political campaigns for and against candidates and to influence the public. This will make the job of those dedicated to justice, peace and self-governance much more difficult

But it will also make it easier to see the root of the problem. Not this single law or that particular regulation. Not this office holder or that political party. But the constitutional edict of corporate constitutional rights.

Making the long run effort to getting at the heart of the problem easier to recognize and solve. By abolishing in all its forms corporate personhood. By legalizing democracy. By humanizing our society. To protect people and nature.

Thank you Supreme Court.

Sincerely,

Greg Coleridge
Director, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee
Member, Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy collective

Supremely Reducing Democracy

The Citizens United vs FEC decision granting business corporations free speech “rights” is the latest in a 124 year long history of legal absurdities by the US Supreme Court. The unelected, appointed-for-life robed ones have expanded entrenched Constitutional protections to entities that exist solely through legal charters imposed by the government of We The People. What’s next? Declaring that computers are human beings with Constitutional rights?

It all started when the Supremes, including three Ohioans, declared in 1886 that corporations possessed the same 14th amendment equal protection human rights as freed slaves. The High Court ruled seven years later for the first time that corporations possessed Bill of Rights (5th Amendment due process) protections. The judicial activism continued in 1906 when 4th Amendment Bill of Rights search and seizure protections were granted. It wasn’t until 1977 that the Supremes first anointed corporations political free speech rights.

Citizens United simply expands the bizarre legal concept that corporations should have 1st Amendment free speech rights – this time to donate or invest in campaigns to elect or oppose candidates for public office. This is a further assault on what remains of democracy.

As a member of the Steering Committee of the national Campaign to Legalize Democracy, I invite interested and concerned citizens to visit MovetoAmend.org. Join the more than 40,000 Americans who have in the first week alone signed up calling to amend the U.S Constitution to expand democracy and abolish corporate personhood.

Move to Amend: Legalize Democracy/Abolish Corporate Personhood

I’ve signed onto this. I hope you will too!

URGENT CALL TO ACTION FROM
HOWARD ZINN, THOM HARTMANN, MEDEA BENJAMIN, FRAN & DAVID KORTEN, BILL MCKIBBEN, BILL FLETCHER, JIM HIGHTOWER, TOM HAYDEN, REV. YEARWOOD, & MANY MORE . . .

http://www.MovetoAmend.org

Exxon. AIG. Enron. Blackwater. Edison. Halliburton. Diebold.

They’ve gone after our tax dollars. Our services. Our jobs. Our schools. Our military. Our votes. Our future. Our freedoms. And the federal courts have helped them every step of the way.

Today, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government.

Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.

We Move to Amend.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

http://www.MovetoAmend.org

Adrienne Maree Brown, Ruckus Society
Alec Loorz, Kids vs Global Warming
Andrew Kimbrell, International Center for Technology Assessment
Andy Gussert, Citizens Trade Campaign
Anne Feeney, musician
Ben Manski, attorney, Exec. Director, Liberty Tree
Benno Friedman, photographer
Benson Scotch, former Staff Counsel to Sen. Leahy, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Bill Fletcher, Exec. Editor, BlackCommentator.com
Bill McKibben, founder, 350.org
Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign
Brad Friedman, Publisher, The BRAD BLOG
Brad Thacker, Be The Change USA
Brett Kimberlin, Director, Justice Through Music
Brian McLaren, Christian activist & author
Carl Davidson, Progressive America Rising
Carolyn Oppenheim, Shays 2
Charlie Cray, Center for Corporate Policy
Dal LaMagna, founder, Tweezerman, Inc.
Dave Wells, formerly Board of Directors, Sierra Club
David Cobb, initiator of 2004 Ohio Recount
David Gespass, president, National Lawyers Guild
David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World
David Rovics, musician
David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org
David Wells, Jr., Nashville Urban Harvest
Dean Myerson, Executive Director, Green Institute
Diane Wittner & Margaret Flowers, Chesapeake Citizens
Dr. Jill Stein, candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Ed Garvey, attorney at law, editor, FightingBob.com
Emily Levy, Velvet Revolution
Fran Korten, Editor, YES! Magazine
Frank Arundel, activist
Gary Zuckett, WV Citizen Action
George Friday, National Coordinator, IPPN
George Martin, United for Peace & Justice
Georgia Kelly, Praxis Peace Institute
Glen Ford, Executive Editor, BlackAgendaReport.com
Greg Coleridge, NE OH American Friends Service Committee
Howard Zinn, historian
Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western State Legal Foundation
James Gustave Speth, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Demos
Jan Edwards, writer
Jane Anne Morris, author, Gaveling Down The Rabble
Jeff Cohen, founder, FAIR
Jeff Milchen, founder, ReclaimDemocracy.org
Jeffrey Short, Ph.D., Pacific Science Director, OCEANA
Jerome Scott, League of Revolutionaries for a New America
Jill Bussiere, Co-Chair, Green Party of the U.S.
James M. Cullen, editor of The Progressive Populist
Jim Hightower, author, columnist, and radio commentator
Joel Bleifuss, Editor & Publisher, In These Times
John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders
John Nichols, Washington Correspondent, The Nation
John Rensenbrink, President, Green Horizon Foundation
John Stauber, author, Weapons of Mass Deception
Jonathan Frieman, social entrepreneur
Josh Healey, Youth Speaks
Josh Lerner, The New School for Social Research
Josh Silver, Executive Director, Free Press
Judith Pedersen-Benn, Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
Kai Huschke, Envision Spokane
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County
Ken Reiner, inventor and founder, Kaynar Corp.
Kevin Danaher, Executive Co-Producer, Green Festivals
Kevin Zeese, Executive Director, TrueVote.US
Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Bring the Guard Home! It’s the Law.
Lewis Pitts, Lawyer, Legal Aid of NC
Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
Lori Price, Managing Editor, Citizens for Legitimate Government
Makani Themba-Nixon, Executive Director, The Praxis Project
Margo Baldwin, Publisher, Chelsea Green
Mark Crispin Miller, author, Fooled Again
Mary Zepernick, Program on Corporations Law and Democracy
Marybeth Gardam, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Matt Nelson, Just Cause
Matt Rothschild, Editor, The Progressive
Medea Benjamin, co-founder, Code Pink
Michael Albert, Z Communications
Michael Bonnano, OpEdNews
Michael Marx, Corporate Ethics International
Michael Shuman, attorney, economic, author of “The Small-Mart Revolution”
Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace
Mimi Kennedy, actress, activist
Miriam Simos, Starhawk, activist and writer
Nancy Price, Alliance for Democracy
Nick Pavloff, Jr., Gulf of Alaska Aleut from Kodiak Island
Norman Solomon, author, co-chair, Healthcare Not Warfare campaign
Patrick Reinsborough, SmartMeme
Paul Saginaw, founder, Zingerman’s, Inc.
Prof. Peter Gabel, School of Law, New College of California
Prof. Victor Wallis, Managing Editor, Socialism & Democracy
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rep. Michael Fisher, House of Representatives, Vermont
Rev. Edward Pinkney, Black Autonomy Network Community Organization
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President, Hip Hop Caucus
Richard Mazess, Prof. Medical Physics, UW-Madison, CEO of Lunar Corp & Bone Care Intl.
Riki Ott, Executive Director, Ultimate Civics
Robert McChesney, professor, co-author, The Death and Life of American Journalism
Ronnie Cummins, founder, Grassroots Netroots Alliance
Sally Castleman, Election Defense Alliance
Sam Smith, Editor, Progressive Review
Sarah Manski, CEO, PosiPair.com
Shahid Buttar, Rule of Law Institute
Ted Glick, climate change activist
Ted Nace, author, Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power
Thom Hartmann, nation’s #1 nationally syndicated progressive talk show host
Tia Oros & Christopher Peters, Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development
Tiffiniy Cheng, Executive Director, A New Way Forward
Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America
Tom Hayden, activist
Ward Morehouse, chair, National Lawyers Guild’s Committee on Corporations
organizations listed for identification purposes only

http://www.MovetoAmend.org