Support Free Speech for People Amendment Petition
This petition had 191 supporters
Prevent the use of secret corporate unlimted funding through undisclosed campaign donations to influence our elections.
Corporations are not human persons.
“The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedures."
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21
One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence governmental decision-making is through voting. Voting is a formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue. Elections must be conducted fairly and freely on a periodic basis within a framework of laws guaranteeing the effective exercise of voting rights.
Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. The human right to vote includes accurate voter education be available to all voting persons so that they can make informed decisions during the pre-election preparations and campaign period. Protection of free speech is critical to a fair election process and biased campaign advertisements paid for by undisclosed sources comprimises that human right to make an informed voting choice. Secret funds for campaign advertisements which hide donors intentions and financial and political connections do not fairly inform the voting public.
The right to vote is widely recognized as a fundamental human right, this right is not fully enforced for millions of individuals around the world. Consistently disenfranchised groups include non-citizens, young people, minorities, those who commit crimes, the homeless, disabled persons, and many others who lack access to the vote for a variety of reasons including poverty, illiteracy, intimidation, or unfair election processes. Withholding the source of campaign advertising funding only further disenfranchises these groups and impacts their ability to protect their human rights interests on election day.
Corporations are not people, they do not vote, and they should not be able to influence election outcomes. We need to amend the Constitution to make clear that First Amendment rights belong to natural persons and the press and do not apply to for-profit corporations.
The role that periodic, free elections play in ensuring respect for political rights is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, the Charter of the Organization of American States, the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and many other international human rights documents.
But a historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on JANUARY 21, 2010, made possible a flood of corporate money into our political system by announcing, contrary to long-standing precedents, that corporations have a constitutional right to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote or defeat candidates. The decision in this historic case - Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - overturns a century of campaign finance law. The court overruled two existing Supreme Court decisions - Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. FEC and thus unleashed unlimited corporate and union spending in candidate campaigns.
Tell your elected officials that you support The Free Speech for People Amendment Petition to the U.S. Congress:
WHEREAS the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations;
WHEREAS, for the past three decades, a divided United States Supreme Court has transformed the First Amendment into a powerful tool for corporations seeking to evade and invalidate democratically-enacted reforms;
WHEREAS, this corporate takeover of the First Amendment has reached its extreme conclusion in the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United v. FEC;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general treasury funds in our elections;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC will now unleash a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in United States history;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC presents a serious and direct threat to our democracy;
WHEREAS, the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of our democracy and self-government;
Now hereby be it resolved that we the undersigned voters of the United States call upon the United States Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people.
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