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DFLers want U.S. constitutional amendment declaring that corporations aren’t people, after all

DFL legislators have introduced bills asking Congress to call a constitutional convention to clarify that corporations are not people.

It’s not only Republicans looking for constitutional amendments these days.

DFLers in the Minnesota House and Senate have introduced bills asking Congress to call a constitutional convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would clarify that corporations are not people.

There’s been much consternation on this point, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a corporate political spending case that corporations have a First Amendment right to free speech.

The bill introduced by DFLers wants the constitutional amendment to say:

  • (1) The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
  • (2) Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and others established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the people, through federal, state, or local law.
  • (3) The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the people, through federal, state, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
  • (4) Federal, state, and local government shall regulate, limit or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
  • (5) Federal, state, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
  • (6) The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.
  • (7) Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

In the state House, the bill was introduced and referred to committee.