Constitutional Amendment Package Introduced in Congress

Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts has introduced a package of two Constitutional amendment bills that would address each of the pieces of the Citizens United v. FEC disaster. (See HJRes 20- Political Equality-Spending and HJRes 21- People have Constitutional Rights)

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Boston, MA- I joined Representative McGovern, Attorney General Martha Coakley, State Senator Jamie Eldridge, State Representatives Cory Atkins, Marty Walz, James O’Day, Professor John Coates, who teaches corporate law at Harvard Law School, David Levine, director of the American Sustainable Business Council, and John Bonifaz, co-founder and director of Free Speech For People.

At a Boston press conference this week, I praised Congressman McGovern’s approach as the best path forward for two reasons.  Together, the Amendment language addresses both (1)  the threat to democracy of  unlimited election spending, without special interest carve-outs, and (2)  the damage of judicial activists fabricating corporate (rather than human) Constitutional rights, in effect imposing a “corporate veto”.  (See Remarks of Jeff Clements, Boston 1-24-13).

Here’s what McGovern’s office says about the Constitutional amendment language:

 HJ Res 20 advances the fundamental principle of political equality for all by empowering Congress and the States to regulate political spending.  It will allow Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation that will withstand Constitutional challenges.

The second amendment, HJ Res 21, would overturn Citizens United … [and] not only addresses corporate rights as they pertain to campaign finance, but is broader in scope to clarify that corporations are not people with Constitutional rights.  Importantly, the amendment clearly protects the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association, and all other such rights of the people.

Here’s Rep. McGovern on the House floor, as he introduced the Constitutional amendment package:

About Jeff Clements

Jeff serves as President of American Promise. He has practiced law for three decades in public service and private practice, and is the author of Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations. He is also the founder of Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides sustainable financing to businesses in the local agriculture economy. Previously, Jeff has been a partner in a major Boston law firm and served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the public law enforcement bureau in the Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts. Jeff has helped to start and been a board member of many non-profit organizations and businesses. Today, in addition to the board of American Promise, he serves on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, Massachusetts. Twitter: @ClementsJeff
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