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Vermont

Vermont lawmakers draft amendment to stop corporations from being considered 'people'

Sunday, April 17, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Vermont, corporations, health news


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(NaturalNews) In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations are essentially the same as people, and are thus free under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to participate in "electioneering communications," or political advertising and contribution campaigns. But lawmakers from the state of Vermont have put forth a resolution that, if passed, will amend the U.S. Constitution to state that only human beings are persons guaranteed constitutional protections.

The Citizens United case deals with whether or not corporations are free to fund political campaigns and contribute to advertising efforts in the same way that individuals are. Prior to the 2010 declaration, corporate spending provisions had been in place to protect the election system from being dominated and controlled by powerful corporate interests. But all that changed when activist judges decided to overturn these protections for the People.

In a recent dissent before the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens reiterated the truth about corporations in an effort to draw attention to the absurdity of considering corporations to be the same as human beings.

"Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires," he wrote. "Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of 'We the People' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."

Redefining personhood to include corporations opens wide the floodgates of corruption to taint the entire election process even worse than it already is. Corporations like Monsanto, for example, are free to contribute as much as they wish to politicians and their campaigns under the ruling, allowing them to steer the policy in their favor.

The Vermont resolution, which is the first of its kind to be put forth, plainly states that "corporations are not persons under the laws of the United States." It also states that the "profits and institutional survival of large corporations are often in direct conflict with the essential needs and rights of human beings," adding that corporations have "used their so-called rights to successfully seek the judicial reversal of democratically-enacted laws."

Sources for this story include:

http://www.alternet.org/news/149620/vermont_...

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