Proposing a Constitutional Amendment to End Corporate Personhood

Friday, November 18, 2011


Massachusetts congressman Jim McGovern, believing that there is too much corporate influence in politics, has proposed a drastic and most likely futile bill to attempt to amend the Consitution to exclude corporations as "people". Bob talks to Congressman McGovern about why he chose to take this step.

Comments [8]

moresteps from cleveland

"What you really have here is media corporations claiming First Amendment rights for themselves, but not for non-media corporations."

that might be, mark richard, because the first amendment to the u.s. constitution expressly states that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom...of the press..." no other industry or function of industry is so clearly protected by constitutional rights.

Dec. 11 2011 01:08 AM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

This is a 'journalism' story?

It would be if someone asked if 'The Corporation for Public Broadcasting' has free speech rights. What you really have here is media corporations claiming First Amendment rights for themselves, but not for non-media corporations. The distinction is tortured when expressed in intellectual terms, but easily understood in partisan political terms. Maybe OTM can steel itself and interview Michael Kinsley, who attempted to school his fellow Democrats on why it is useless to try to make this distinction in law.

Nov. 21 2011 12:43 PM
Courtenay Chadwell-Gatz from KUOW

Helloooo!!!! Have you never heard of Move to Amend? I cannot believe that Bob Garfield thought this had grown out of the OWS movement. While the two ideologies work well together, we learned of Move to Amend a year ago, when Riki Ott came to our little town of Bellingham to tell us about this very important movement towards a new constitutional amendment to take personhood back from corporations. Really, OTM, I'm disappointed in you....normally one of my favorite radio shows.

Nov. 21 2011 12:26 AM

It is simple a Corporation can not do anything without a human making a decision for the Corporation to act. If a Corporation can not register to vote and cast a vote in an election then it is not a person.
The other fact is when a Corporation does something illegal it is not like a person and sent to jail. To send a big Corporation to jail would mean it was shut down. If the top people like the CEO and CFO are found guilty of making the Corporation break the law then the why should the Corporation not be a co-conspirator treated like a person and sent to jail.

Nov. 20 2011 04:55 PM
salvatore principato from Manhattan

I found Bob Garfield's interview with Rep McGovern particularly snarky and cynical and that the congressman held his own with rational, reasoned responses to Mr Garfield's dismissive, know-it-all, can't tell the difference between political posturing & political symbolism shows just how much right wing obstructionism & sticking to the talking points have found their way into how journalists approach their craft

Nov. 20 2011 03:24 PM

The most obvious problem with corporations being considered equivalent to people in terms of speech (and thus influence), is that CORPORATIONS DON"T DIE... their influence is thus unlimited, even by natural demise, which means corporations' influence, power, and wealth can simply continue to grow indefinitely.

No individual person has the advantage of immortality, impressing their interests on the world multigenerationally... the only equivalent I can draw to that kind of influence and power, as pertains to real people, is dynastic rule!!!

Is that the privelege corporations deserve??!!!
...the influence and power once enjoyed by kings and emperors, handed down from father to son and kept perennially in the "family," to impose their interests on the public generationally??!!!

Well, that dynastic uber-status is EXACTLY what the conservative Roberts Court has bestowed upon corporations!

Let's stop treating corporate interests as entities with a Divine Mandate from heaven.

Nov. 20 2011 11:10 AM
mogl from the united STATES of america

How can I help?!! Corporations aren't people. Money is not speech.

Nov. 20 2011 07:29 AM

There is no more poorly understood decision in the modern history of the United States Supreme Court than Citizens United v. FEC. And NPR is very much blameworthy in the awful partisan hackery that people like Rep. McGovern bring to this story.

I'll have to dig into the OTM archives; has the program ever put on anyone to supply a clear, reasoned explanation of the majority desicion in Citizens United?

Nov. 19 2011 12:48 AM

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