In the wake of a recent Supreme Court case (Citizens United v. FEC) that gave broad free speech rights to publically-chartered corporations, a grassroots movement is seeking to constitutionally limit what has become an unreasonable legal deference to these powerful, artificial entities. In the election context, the concern is that unbridled campaign or issue spending by corporations (spending which is now labeled as “speech” and therefore almost unregulatable) leads to a distortion of the democratic process. Because corporations are given the ability to amass capital by the state, Move to Amend argues that the state should retain the ability to limit corporate actions, including speech.
The movement has made waves, of late, as American municipalities begin lining up behind the push to declare that “human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.” The City of Boulder, Colorado, is one of the most recent to be considering putting a measure on the ballot allowing residents to voice their opposition to the Supreme Court precedent. Move to Amend has not endorsed any specifically-worded amendment at this time, but is working toward broad consensus among individuals and organizations as to the ultimate language.