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Jon Tester Proposes Constiutional Ammendment Declaring That Corporations are Not People

On June 19, Montana’s Junior U.S. Senator Jon Tester proposed the following amendment to the U.S. constitution:

‘‘SECTION 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

‘‘SECTION 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

‘‘SECTION 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association and all such other rights of the people, which rights are unalienable.’’.

The amendment is partly a response to a Montana citizen’s initiative that was passed in the 2012 election. The amendment comes as no surprise as Tester campaigned heavily on overturning Citizen’s United during that same election year.

“Montanans expect real people and their ideas —not corporations and their money—to decide our elections,” said Tester as he announced the amendment.  “The Citizens United decision undermines Montana values and distorts the democratic process.  Montanans rejected corporate control of elections a century ago, and I’m proud to join them in standing up for our long-held values.”

The amendment still has a long way to go as it must pass both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and is not currently scheduled for a vote.

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