Corporations Are Not People On the Move

Corporations Are Not People makes the Bill Moyers top ten “Must-Read Money-In-Politics Books list!  The book also is the feature of this week’s American Constitution Society Book Talk section. Check it out here (and excerpt below). And earlier this week, I joined E.J. Dionne, Melanie Sloan of CREW and the Brennan Center’s Monica Youn at the Center for American Progress to discuss Citizens United Two Years Later. Campus Progress covered the event here.

And back in Massachusetts, the Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United is getting some serious attention, with State senators and representatives, supported by the Attorney General and thousands of citizens of the Commonwealth,  moving a resolution through the State House. Check out this story and if you’re in Massachusetts, come to Clark University in Worcester on Monday to the event below.

If you’ve read the book, let me know what you think. Looking forward to working with you!

ACS Book Talk excerpt:

As the nation increasingly embraces the Constitutional amendment solution to Citizens United, a new proposition that the notorious decision actually had nothing to do with “corporate personhood” is emerging. Last week, for example, my friend Kent Greenfield cast a skeptical eye on the “anti-corporate activists” who support a Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United in the Washington Post. (My own view competed the next day in a Boston Globe op-ed with Congressman Jim McGovern, the lead sponsor of the People’s Rights Amendment.)

As an initial matter, no one should assume that the 79% of Americans who favor a Constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United are “anti-corporate,” whatever that means. After all, 1000 business leaders have called for a Constitutional Amendment, as have legal scholars, lawyers, former state Attorneys General, serving Attorneys Generals, dozens of cities and town representative bodies and millions of Americans.

The argument that corporations in fact are “people” under the Constitution, or at least that we ought to continue the tacit amendment of the Constitution that pretends that they are, at least has the virtue of frankness. Less credible, in my view, is the argument that Citizens United and the larger “corporate speech” theory under the First Amendment is not really about corporate rights at all, but merely about protecting associational rights of people.

More Here

About Jeff Clements

Jeff Clements is co-founder and chair of the board of Free Speech for People, a national non-partisan campaign to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, challenge excessive corporate power, and strengthen American democracy and republican self-government. He co-founded Free Speech For People in 2010, after representing several public interest organizations with a Supreme Court amicus brief in the Citizens United case. Jeff has served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. As Bureau Chief, he led more than 100 staff in the enforcement of environmental, healthcare, financial services, civil rights, antitrust and consumer protection laws. In private practice, Jeff has been a partner at Mintz Levin in Boston, and in his own firm. Jeff also has served in leadership capacities on numerous boards, including that of the Portland Water District, a public agency responsible for protecting and delivering safe drinking water and ensuring proper treatment of wastewater for 160,000 people; Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental organization he co-founded with others to protect and enhance stewardship of Maine’s Casco Bay; and The Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 2012, Jeff co-founded Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides cost-effective capital to farmers and businesses engaged in local, sustainable agriculture. Jeff graduated with distinction in History and Government from Colby College in 1984, and magna cum laude from the Cornell Law School in 1988. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife and three children. Jeff Clements Twitter: @ClementsJeff Email: jclements@freespeechforpeople.org
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