Supreme Court Decision a “Pearl Harbor for American Democracy”

January 25th, 2010 by Andy in Judicial System & The Courts

New Coalition Responds to Citizens United Decision with a Call to Amend the U.S. Constitution to Overrule the Supreme Court’s Activist Expansion of Corporate “Rights”

Contact: (202) 642-1848 or additional coalition contacts below

Washington, DC - After justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of corporate “rights” in the Citizens United case, a new national coalition of diverse public interest, community, and business organizations responded with a bold call to overrule the decision and amend the Constitution to restore the power of people over corporations, beyond election law. A complete list of the “Move to Amend” Steering Committee is attached; and a list of other groups and people who have endorsed this new campaign is available at the coalition’s new website:

“This decision was Pearl Harbor for American democracy,” said Ben Manski, Executive Director of Liberty Tree and a lawyer helping to lead the coalition. “Decades of judicial activism culminating in today’s decision have eroded the power of ‘We the People’ to govern ourselves and so our move to amend the Constitution is not limited to the powers of the Federal Election Commission but focuses on the broader implications of the decision.”

“We are inspired by historic social movements that recognized the necessity of altering fundamental power relationships,” added Riki Ott, the Director of Ultimate Civics and a marine toxicologist whose activism was galvanized by the Exxon Valdez spill. “America has progressed through ordinary people joining together-from the Revolutionaries to Abolitionists, Suffragists, Trade Unionists, and Civil Rights activists through to today.”

“In this decision, a handful of unelected judges have revealed their agenda to expand the influence of corporations at the expense of the rights of individuals, and it will not stand the test of time,” said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy and former Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Deputy Assistant Attorney General. “Corporations aren’t people and simply don’t deserve the same rights as people; we have to work together to put people before corporations.”

“The movement we are launching is a long-term effort to make the U.S. Constitution more democratic,” noted David Cobb, the Director of the Program on Corporations Law & Democracy and an attorney helping to lead the coalition. “We are a diverse coalition with deep roots in communities nationwide. We recognize that amending the Constitution to restore the power of the people over corporations will not be easy, but we know correcting the Supreme Court is imperative to the progress of our nation.”


Exxon. AIG. Enron. Blackwater. Edison. Halliburton. Diebold.

They’ve gone after our tax dollars. Our services. Our jobs. Our schools. Our military. Our votes. Our future. Our freedoms. And the federal courts have helped them every step of the way.

Today, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government.

Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.

~~~ We Move to Amend ~~~

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our 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.


FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact the Move to Amend Steering Committee:

Ben Manski, Liberty Tree (, (202) 642-1848,

Riki Ott, PhD, Ultimate Civics (, (907) 424-3915,

Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy (, (608) 260-9713,

David Cobb, Program on Corporations Law & Democracy (, (707) 362-0333,

George Friday, National Director of Independent Progressive Politics Network ( (862) 668-8172,

Greg Coleridge, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee ( (330) 928-2301,

Marybeth Gardam, Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom Corporations vs. Democracy Committee Leadership Team (, (515) 210-7928,

Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County ( (707) 269-0984,

Nancy Price, Alliance for Democracy ( (781) 894-1179 or (530) 758-0726,

David Swanson, After Downing Street, (202) 329-7847,

Jeff Milchen,, 406-582-122,

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