January Session, 2013
LCO No. 5141
Referred to Committee on GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND ELECTIONS
RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING CONGRESS TO PROPOSE AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION TO PROTECT THE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS OF PERSONS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
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 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; and
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, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Connecticut General Assembly respectfully memorializes the Congress of the United States to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution, for ratification by the states, to provide that corporations are not entitled to the entirety of protections or rights of natural persons, specifically so that the expenditure of corporate money to influence the electoral process is no longer a form of constitutionally protected speech; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate cause a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate and all members of the Connecticut congressional delegation.
Statement of Purpose:
To provide that free speech rights of natural persons not be attributed to corporations.
[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]