Move to Amend Rally at St. James

The Santa Clara County chapter of Move to Amend will hold a rally at noon Thursday in St. James Park, near the Historic Courthouse. Move to Amend is a nonpartisan organization arguing for a 28th amendment that would overturn corporate personhood and rule that money is not equivalent to free speech. 

It’s been more than two years since the Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission Supreme Court ruling granted corporations the right to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. The ruling also established that corporations have the same protected rights to free speech as individual persons. A result of that ruling was the Occupy Wall Street movement, which spread across the nation last year and has arguably the most militant faction of protesters in Oakland.

This is an issue particularly close to home for San Jose, home of the 1886 Supreme Court case Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. The decision in that case ruled that the 14th Amendment equal protection clause protected both corporations as well as natural persons, an assessment that unintentionally laid the foundation for more recent laws regarding corporate personhood.

“We invite all citizens to learn about the whole sad story of how Corporate Personhood came to be, and we have to start with its birth here in Santa Clara County in 1886,” says Judy Young, of Santa Clara County Move to Amend.

Thursday’s event will include singing peace activist group The Raging Grannies, as well as plays and various speakers.

4 Comments

  1. I’m sorry.  I don’t get the theory of why corporations AREN’T people.

    It seems to me that a corporation is just an expression of the right of PEOPLE to FREELY ASSOCIATE and form communities of economic interest.

    So, Move To Amend is AGAINST the right of people to freely associate and engage in commercial activity for common economic gain?

    • The article has some inaccuracies. To answer your question, no, MTA is not against corporations at all! We have members who have started multiple corporations. Corporations were not intended to have Constitutional rights. They are legal fictions chartered by government and should be subject to federal, state and local statutory laws. Their shareholders and officers enjoy limited liability (the corporate shield) for corporate activities, so should not as a corp. enjoy the Constitutional rights meant for natural human persons. Everyone involved in a corp. (for profit or otherwise) has those rights as an individual human being. But they were not intended for artificial entities and some are abusing them to the detriment of human beings and more ethical businesses. The Supreme Court isn’t supposed to act as a legislative body and assign rights, it’s supposed to interpret existing law. A good book to read to understand the basic issue is Corporations Are Not People.

    • A corporation is a legal fiction chartered by the state and is not a natural person. Constitutional rights were intended for human persons (individuals). Individual shareholders and officers of corps. have Constitutional rights as individuals. Corporations do not have the same responsibilities as humans (i.e. limited liability). MTA is NOT against forming corporations. In fact, some of our members have formed corporations or serve on various boards. Statutory laws of the federal, state and local gov’t. should apply to them. See the book Corporations Are Not People for an easy read on the subject.

  2. Corporatism is an evil.  Case in point.  Bill Hauck who is a leader in the California State University, argues that corporate education is a better set of principles than diversity and multiculturalism, has directed that voter registration programs at state universities like San Jose State be demphasized.  It is why most accreditation monitors are downgrading SJSU.