Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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Jan 21, 2015
Press Release

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern today announced that he has reintroduced HJ Res 23, the “People’s Rights” constitutional amendment, in the House of Representatives.

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s dreadful Citizens United decision, in which the Court ruled that corporations have the same right to free speech as people. The ruling effectively reversed decades of precedent recognizing the authority of the people to regulate corporate spending in our elections and sparked the growing movement across the country to overturn the Court’s decision and to reclaim our democracy.

“Despite the ruling in Citizens United, the Constitution was never intended to give corporations the same rights as the American people,” Rep. McGovern said.  My amendment clarifies that corporations, whether they are for-profit or non-profit entities, are not people with constitutional rights.”

This legislation is identical to HJ Res . 21 in the 113th Congress.  

“People who work at corporations have rights. Corporations themselves do not and should not have these same rights under the Constitution,” Rep. McGovern continued.

The amendment also clearly protects the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion and freedom of association. It simply prohibits courts from pretending that corporations are people when it comes to our Constitution.

In addition to HJ Res 23, Rep. McGovern is also an original co-sponsor of the “Democracy for All Amendment,” also introduced today.  That amendment would provide Congress and the states with the authority to determine reasonable regulations on campaign financing and distinguish between natural persons and other artificial entities under campaign finance laws.