Monetary History Calendar: May 28 – June 3

Who should have the power & authority to create $$? We the People (legalized in the Constitution)? Or banksters by creating $$ out of thin air as loans/debt? Our choice.

Subscribe to the Monetary History Calendar. It’s free. Email

Cleveland Democracy Day Public Hearing Testimony

May 8, 2023

Question: What do the following realities have in common: protecting worker safety, outlawing loan sharking, preventing workplace discrimination, stopping pollution, controlling political corruption, ending fracking, regulating guns, raising the minimum wage, shutting down puppy mills, and even banning the use of plastic bags?

The answer is, of course, preemption. Preempting, usurping or, dare I say, trumping local laws passed by county or municipal councils, like Cleveland City Council, is becoming ever more rampant by state legislatures and federal courts.

What does this have to do with Move to Amend’s We the People Amendment? The Amendment calls for abolishing the twin bizarre constitutional doctrines that “money spent in elections is free speech” and “a corporation is a person.” 

Money as speech has meant that the super rich and corporations that haven’t been successful at stopping the local laws mentioning above – passed by elected local public officials who take an oath to protect the health, safety and welfare – can shift their focus to the state level where they invest money in the form of lobbying or political campaign contributions to corrupt state legislatures to overrule local democracy. It’s legalized bribery to be sure – thanks to political money defined as free speech.

About 500 such preemption laws are moving through state legislatures across the country now – with practically no public notice.

Meanwhile, corporate constitutional rights have allowed corporations to hijack Constitutional Amendments to claim, for example, that 4th Amendment search and seizure rights, 5th Amendment due process and takings rights and 14th Amendment equal protection rights – originally intended to apply solely to human beings – apply to corporate entities. Thus, local laws calling for public inspections, targeting certain businesses or protecting the environment violate a corporation’s privacy, are discriminatory or unfair – and are thrown out in federal court. 

Hundreds of such laws – with a focus of protecting workers, their workplaces and expanding economic justice  over the past century – have been overturned on the grounds of violating corporate constitutional rights.

We can overturn the Citizen United Supreme Court decision and the constitutional doctrine of “money equals speech” tomorrow, but corporate preemption in the courts would still exist. That’s why we must abolish ALL corporate constitutional rights. That’s what the We the People Amendment accomplishes.

We must remember that corporations have no inherent constitutional rights. Corporate entities are creations of the state. They only exist because they receive a charter, or license, from the state to do business. The charter was intended as a democratic instrument – to ensure that a business promoted the common good when providing a good or service. The charter bestowed upon them only privileges, not rights. When a corporate entity failed in their mission or unilaterally acted beyond their charter, the charter was often revoked by either the state legislature or state supreme court – just as a license issued to an individual professional person is revoked with the individual unable to conduct business if they failed to uphold the terms of their license.

In a 1900 ruling to dissolve a dairy company, the Ohio Supreme Court said,

The time has not yet arrived when the created is greater than the creator, and it still remains the duty of the courts to perform their office in the enforcement of the laws, no matter how ingenious the pretexts for their violation may be, nor the power of the violators in the commercial world.

This is the mindset and actions of self-governing democratic people – not to ask, pray, plead or negotiate with their legal creations – but rather to define, to authorize, to instruct. That’s what the We the People Amendment will, in part, accomplish. 

To achieve real democracy – for the very first time. 

Thank you.

Greg Coleridge (he/him)
National Co-Director, Move to Amend Coalition