Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the original sponsor of the People’s Rights Amendment in Congress, spoke at the Congressional Summit on Overturning Citizens United, held on Capitol Hill today.
His complete remarks follow.
· I want to thank the other Members who spoke before me, Marge, all of the panelists and everyone who had a role in making today’s summit happen. It is a testament to how important it is to overturn Citizens United.
· The Citizens United marked the most extreme example of the so-called corporate personhood movement, where corporations assert fabricated rights under the Constitution to strike down public interest laws protecting the environment, health care, consumer rights, civil rights, and now elections.
· Corporations are not people. They do not breathe. They do not have children. They do not die in war. They are artificial entities which we the people create and, as such, we govern them, not the other way around.
· My “People’s Rights Amendment” is simple and straightforward. It would make clear that all corporate entities - for-profit and non-profit alike - are not people with constitutional rights. It treats all corporations, including incorporated unions and non-profits, in the same way: as artificial creatures of the state that we the people govern, not the other way around.
· Let me make clear - the People’s Rights Amendment preserves all of the individual rights guaranteed under the Constitution. Individual members of corporations have free speech and constitutional rights like everyone else.
· I am proud that the People’s Rights Amendment has bipartisan support in the House and I look forward to working with all of you to lift up the promise of American self-government: of, for and by the people.