Locals draft petition for Constitutional amendment

The Citizens United decision determined that corporations, individuals, unions and advocacy groups may donate an unlimited amount of money to influence elections. Signatures are being collected by members of Move to Amend - South Central Indiana, an affiliate of the national Move to Amend organization.

Formed in 2009, Move to Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations “committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests,” according to the Move to Amend website.

The petition, according to a press release, asserts that money is not speech and only people, not corporations, should be entitled to Constitutional rights.

As a whole, Move to Amend was founded to push for a Constitutional amendment, stating that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech and should be regulated in political campaign, according to the website.

Leading up to November’s general election, super PACs, wealthy individuals and multinational corporations will spend billions of dollars on campaigning as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on the case.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, according to the release, said the Supreme Court will soon have to decide whether the ruling in this case applies to foreign corporations or terrorist organizations.

“With these unprecedented expenditures, it has become clear that Citizens United has opened the floodgates to a new level of unlimited and unaccountable spending with potentially billions of dollars received from secret donors to elect our country’s leaders,” said Historian Jim Allison. “This truly is a bipartisan issue.”

Allison authored the play “The Prosecution of Judge Waite,” which focuses on the Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific decision in 1886.

This specific case, according to the release, gave birth to the idea that corporations should be granted the same legal rights as a person.

On June 20, members with Move to Amend - South Central Indiana will present the signed petitions to the Bloomington City Council, requesting that Congress initiate the amendment process.

Other local, state and federal elected officials will also receive copies of the signed petitions, according to the release.

So far, 26 state legislatures from across the country have announced their support of a constitutional amendment or have introduced resolutions to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, and 200 local resolutions have been passed calling for the amendment.

If the Bloomington City Council agrees to pass a resolution following the petition, Bloomington would become the first municipality in Indiana to approve such a resolution.

— Mark Keierleber

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