“Corporate Personhood” should be litmus test for Brett Kavanaugh confirmation



For release on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Contact:  Greg Coleridge, 216-255-2184, greg@movetoamend.org


[Cleveland, OH] Democracy activists and several local public officials are calling on Ohio’s U.S. Senators to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court if he believes corporations possess the same inalienable constitutional rights as human beings.

The group, organized by the Move to Amend campaign, held a press conference in front of the Carl B. Stokes Federal Courthouse in Cleveland where they read a questionnaire that was later delivered to the offices of U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman. The group called on the Senators to ask the specific questions contained in the document to Mr. Kavanaugh before deciding whether to confirm Kavanaugh to the High Court. Each question highlighted a different never-intended constitutional right that previous Supreme Courts had given to corporations (what may call “corporate personhood).

Speaking at the press conference were State Senator Mike Skindell; State Representatives Nickie Antonio and Kent Smith; Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary of the North Shore Federation AFL-CIO; Ted Seuss, Regional Coordinator of Ohio Single-Payer Action Network; Lois Romanoff, Cleveland Move to Amend co-coordinator; Sally Hanley, Cleveland Heights Move to Amend co-coordinator; and Greg Coleridge, Move to Amend national Outreach Director.

“Corporations aren’t mentioned in the U.S. Constitution,” said Greg Coleridge, national Move to Amend Outreach Director. “They’re artificial state creations, originally intended to be subordinate to We the People and defined by legislatures through charters. No citizen or legislature ever voted to grant corporations constitutional rights. Activist Supreme Court rulings for more than a century have placed corporations well beyond the democratic reach of the people. It is past time for all Supreme Court justice nominees to be given a democratic litmus test on their views on corporate constitutional rights during the confirmation process. Toward that end, we’re asking our Senators to ask Brett Kavanaugh the list of questions we’ve developed to determine his views on the subject and oppose him if he supports corporate personhood.”

Move to Amend is a grassroots national coalition working on a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to end corporate constitutional rights and political money defined as protected free speech under the First Amendment. Its We the People Amendment, H.J.R. 48, has 62 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. Hundreds of organizations and nearly 800 communities, including 23 in Ohio, have passed resolutions or ballot initiatives in support of such an amendment.

The press conference took place on the first day of Senate confirmation hearings of Mr. Kavanaugh. The questionnaire is being delivered or sent to every U.S. Senator.

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