Monthly Archives: March 2015

New York Times Article Shines Light On New Scholarship Challenging Claims Of Corporate Constitutional Rights

This week, the New York Times featured research by John Coates, a professor at Harvard Law School and a longtime member of Free Speech For People’s Legal Advisory Committee, on “the corporate takeover of the First Amendment.” The research stems from Free Speech For People’s November 2014 symposium at Harvard Law School on “Advancing a New Jurisprudence for American Self-Government and Democracy” (which Professor Coates helped organize). Professor Coates’s paper will be published in the symposium issue for the journal Constitutional Commentary along with other papers from the conference.





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Join John Bonifaz This Sunday For A Call On The Trans-Pacific Partnership And Corporate Nationhood

Join John Bonifaz, Ben Manski, and Lori Wallach for a special conversation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), soon to be a “bullet train to corporate nationhood.” Our Co-Founder will highlight recent cases post-Citizens United, where corporations claim constitutional rights to strike down public interest laws.





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Decision Reached In Seattle Minimum Wage Case: Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction

Last week, lawyers argued in federal district in Seattle whether the city’s new minimum wage violates the equal protection rights of franchised business corporations. Yesterday, the judge denied the preliminary injunction on all claims, including Equal Protection and First Amendment claims. The ruling is an important step in the right direction to end the myth of corporate personhood, and to ensure protection of the rights of ‘we the people.’





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Free Speech For People Joins In Filing Appeal Brief In Noel v. Board of Election Commissioners

Free Speech For People joined the legal team defending the Take Back St. Louis ballot initiative campaign. This ballot initiative, which would amend the city charter of St. Louis (Missouri) to prevent the city from granting tax breaks to fossil fuel and nuclear mining companies, was challenged in court before the ballots were printed. At the preliminary injunction stage, the judge (citing Citizens United) found that the initiative would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as well as state law.





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Minimum Wage Under Fire In Seattle: Our Local Counsel Reports On IFA v. Seattle

This past Tuesday, lawyers argued in federal district court in Seattle whether the city’s new minimum wage violates the equal protection rights of franchised business corporations. Free Speech For People filed an amicus brief in support of the city, arguing that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause protects people, not corporations, and in particular that living wages were a central concern of the Fourteenth Amendment’s drafters. Our local counsel in Seattle, Harry Williams, attended the oral argument and submits this report.





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Watch Ron Fein And Kent Greenfield Debate Corporate Personhood On Democracy Now!

This morning, the independent news program, Democracy NOW!, hosted our Legal Director Ron Fein and Boston College Law Professor Kent Greenfield for a vigorous debate on corporate claims of constitutional rights. The debate spotlighted how major corporations like McDonald’s and Monsanto are trying to strike down public interest laws on the claim that they are people with constitutional rights.






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Ronald McDonald And Friends Sue Seattle To Stop Minimum Wage Hike

Last summer, Seattle passed a law to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. Sounds great, except McDonald’s and other members of the International Franchise Association are suing the city, claiming that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment.





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Let Californians Instruct Their Elected Representatives

Do Californians have the right to “instruct” their elected representatives through the ballot?

Our amicus brief filed before the California Supreme Court, points to the California Constitution and argues “yes”. A new op-ed published in the L.A. Daily News, by Ron Fein and Congressman Ted Lieu contines, “it is not enough for the legislator to speak to and for the people once she is elected. The people must have access to diverse tools in order to express their political sentiments.”





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