Skip to content

Things you can do about today’s Supreme Court decision

Upset about this morning’s Supreme Court decision? Want to do something about it?

The website Move to Amend wants to amend the constitution to:

  • Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
  • Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
  • Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Another website, Free Speech for People, is also fighting this decision.

Lawrence Lessig has a video about campaign finance reform.

Lots of other good information at the Brad Blog.

Personally, I’d like any constitutional amendment to declare that corporations are not people, too.

If anyone has some other ideas or suggestions, please leave them in a comment.

UPDATE: Congressman Alan Grayson is already doing some things about this:



  1. RR Anderson wrote:

    You cant eat Corporate personhood in a natural disaster. PEOPLE ARE MEAT! LONG LIVE MEAT!!!!!!

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink
  2. Mike wrote:

    The problem is an old SCOTUS decision giving 14th amendment protection to corporations, even though that was not the original intent of the amendment. There needs to be a challenge to that ruling; that would take a bunch of wind out of their sails.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink
  3. James M wrote:

    The constitution makes a clear distinction between the rights of persons and regulation of commerce.

    If a person causes death through negligence they can be charged with manslaughter and sent to jail. A corp only pays a civil fine.

    If a person defaults on a debt the credit cards can still collect after a bankruptcy, but not so for a corp.

    If a person makes a million dollars a year in income they must pay tax at a high rate, but a hedge fund pays only 15% and a lot of large corps with million or billion dollar income pay no tax at all.

    A person must be alive and attend school, during which they are taught right from wrong, for 18 years before they can legally sign a contract. A corp can the day it is incorporated.

    A person must take school civics classes and wait till 18 till they can vote, corporations can now donate a million to their congressman the week they incorporate.

    A person can be drafted, for a war, or for jury service, a corporation cant.

    A person can feel shame, and the need to live with others in society helps modal good behaviour, a corp has no sole (don’t believe the advertising) and can do anything it wants without compunction or remorse, which they do so long as it makes money.

    A person cannot disown their kids and must pay child support, but a corp can disown any sup corporations, letting them fold and leaving the creditors with nothing, and no recourse to the holding company.


    1) Corporations are not people.

    2) Being a corporation is a privilege, not a right.

    3) The business of elected representatives in government is to represent the people and NO MORE than that.

    4) Attempting to influence voters or their elected representatives is called politics. Corporations are not people so they may not engage in politics. So they may not spend money on campaigns, make donations, provide free services or advocate for or against a candidate or social position.

    3) Since corporations are engaged in commerce, and in regulating commerce the people have a right to make commerce fair, therefore a company may not make a claim or tell a lie if they know, or should have known it was not the truth.

    4) The right to be a corporation is granted by the people and can be revoked on good cause.

    5) Criminal acts that rise to a RICO action, made by employees of a corporation, that in any way advance or defend the corporations business or agenda, are made by the corporation and void it’s right of existence.

    6) When a corporation is voided the stock certificates are all voided and a receiver shall be appointed.

    The receiver will either Liquidate the assets, OR Appoint a new board and issue new stock.
    The proceeds of either will be used to and pay off all judgments, then creditors, then taxes, with the remainder to be deposited in the the general revenue fund.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink
  4. Chuck Makela wrote:

    Right now, I can’t help but agree with the comments of James M. Since when can the brick and mortar substance of a corporation be compared to the flesh and blood makeup of a human being? Big companies incorporate as “C” corps for a variety of reasons, but one is to limit their financial liability in the case of major screwups. How about that! Thanks to our Chief Justice Roberts, our influence peddleing corporations now have protections and rights to run America in whatever manner they see fit. I should be so lucky as a mortal human constituent. Chuck

    Friday, January 22, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink
  5. Sammy wrote:

    What I don’t “get” is how conservatives can like this decision based solely on the fact that it’s likely a blow to liberals. It’s not a bad decision because it’s a blow to liberals; it’s a bad decision because it’s a blow to campaign finance reform. And most people I know who follow politics, whether they be right wing, left wing or somewhere in between, believe we need that reform.

    So exactly how do they reconcile their joy at a “victory” for conservatives with what is tantamount to exactly the OPPOSITE of campaign finance reform?

    Friday, January 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  6. Steve Williams wrote:

    This web site has some good information on how corporations have gotten to this point:

    Friday, January 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  7. Tom Degan wrote:

    Are corporations really persons?

    Do corporations think?

    Do corporations grieve when a loved one dies as a result of a lack of adequate health care?

    If a corporation ever committed an unspeakable crime against the American people, could IT be sent to federal prison? (Note the operative word here: “It”)

    Has a corporation ever given its life for its country?

    Has a corporation ever been killed in an accident as the result of a design flaw in the automobile it was driving?

    Has a corporation ever written a novel that inspired millions?

    Has a corporation ever risked its life by climbing a ladder to save a child from a burning house?

    Has a corporation ever won an Oscar? Or an Emmy? Or the Nobel Peace Prize? Or the Pulitzer Prize in Biography?

    Has a corporation ever been shot and killed by someone who was using an illegal and unregistered gun?

    Has a corporation ever paused to reflect upon the simple beauty of an autumn sunset or a brilliant winter moon rising on the horizon?

    If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise if there are no corporations there to hear it?

    Should corporations kiss on the first date?

    Our lives – yours and mine – have more worth than any corporation. To say that the Supreme Court made a awful decision on Thursday is an understatement. Not only is it an obscene ruling – it’s an insult to our humanity.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

    Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink
  8. Jean Gerard wrote:

    Suggestions for organizing a grassroots resistance:
    Purpose: To pledge, and encourage all candidates to pledge, not to accept corporate money, and to work to support those candidates. Use this as an ethical issue of voters and candidates being bought like slaves. Promise not to vote for any candidate who accepts corporate money. Organize to support such candidates and make discussion of meaning and importance of ethical elections with view toward next step: Legislation to support Campaign Reform.
    Appeal to media, particularly at grassroots for local candidates, to give them free time and space in the community’s interest. Sponsor debate, teach-ins etc., and information on ethics in politics and the significance of the Court’s recent ruling. Join organizations attempting to revoke this ruling and the law that legalizes corporations as “people.”
    Relate this particular point to the overall dominance of government by corporations, especially in the military-industrial complex — its relation to employment, and how war replaces other industries and activities in providing jobs to young people in a struggling economy like today.
    Make point that if CAFE succeeds in any way, electorally, educationally etc., the organization will continue after 2010 working to get real campaign reform passed in Congress.

    Such a campaign, while it sounds naive, might be creative enough and disarming enough to defeat the Court ruling, as it uses a kind of “reverse English” to redirect the expected effects of the ruling — a kind of “making lemonade out of lemons” so to speak. Using force to arouse a counterforce.

    I have a strong feeling that millions of people would like to find a place and a direction where they could help to direct the fate of the country but they are too far from the center. We need to go to them with something like this which is essential to good government and to reforming the direction of the country. Yes? No?

    Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Permalink