MD Amendment Letter Jan 2012

January 2012 MD Amendment LETTER

    

January, 2012

 

To the Honorable Members of the United States Congress:

           

We, the Undersigned Members of the Maryland General Assembly, call upon you to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), which declared that corporations enjoy the First Amendment political rights of the people and toppled dozens of state and federal laws and many decades of judicial precedent preventing corporations (and unions) from spending corporate (and union) treasury funds in political campaigns.

This radical departure from judicial precedent and democratic values has already brought a torrent of corporate money, much of it secret, into American politics, fundamentally distorting public elections and campaigns for public office.  The decision poses a direct and dramatic threat to government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” 

By bringing corporations into the heart of the political process, Citizens United changes the character of democracy.  For-profit corporations (except benefit corporations) are legally bound to pursue the maximization of profits and economic advantage in all of their endeavors.  This is one reason why most United States Supreme Court Justices, from Chief Justice John Marshall to Chief Justice William Rehnquist to Justice Byron White to the four dissenting justices in Citizens United v. FEC, have rejected the claim that corporations have political rights.

 Corporations enjoy special state-conferred economic and legal advantages not enjoyed by natural persons, including limited liability of the shareholders, perpetual life of the corporation itself, and favorable treatment of the accumulation and distribution of assets.  These advantages permit corporations to amass vast sums of money that are spent properly for economic purposes but not for the purposes of intervening in democratic politics and entrenching corporate power.

Article V of the United States Constitution empowers the people, the states and the Congress to use the constitutional amending process to protect republican self-government.   This power has repeatedly been used by the people when the Supreme Court has undermined the progress of popular democracy.

 As Members of the Maryland General Assembly, we sharply disagree with the majority decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and call upon the United States Congress to propose and send to the states for ratification as soon as is practicable a constitutional amendment to reverse this decision and restore fair elections and democratic sovereignty to the states and to the people.


Del. Aisha Braveboy

Del. Alfred Carr

Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez

Del. Anne Healey

Del. Anne Kaiser

Del. Ariana Kelly

Del. Aruna Miller

Del. Barbara Frush

Del. Benjamin Kramer

Del. Bonnie Cullison

Del. Brian Feldman

Del. Brian McHale

Del. C.T. Wilson

Del. Cheryl Glenn

Del. Craig Zucker

Del. Curt Anderson

Del. Dan Morhaim

Del. Dana Stein

Del. Doyle Niemann

Del. Elizabeth Bobo

Del. Emmett Burns

Del. Eric Leudtke

Del. Frank Turner

Del. Galen Clagett

Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith

Del. Guy Guzzone

Del. Hattie Harrison

Del. Heather Mizeur

Del. James Gilchrist

Del. James Hubbard

Del. James Malone

Del. James Proctor

Del. Jay Walker

Del. Jill Carter

Del. Jon Cardin

Del. John Olszewski

Del. John Wood

Del. Jolene Ivey

Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk

Del. Joseph Minnick

Del. Joseph Vallario

Del. Justin Ross

Del. Kathleen Dumais

Del. Keiffer Mitchell

Del. Keith Haynes

Del. Kirill Reznick

Del. Kris Valderama

Del. Kumar Barve

Del. Luke Clippinger

Del. Maggie McIntosh

Del. Marvin Holmes

Del. Mary Dulany-James

Del. Mary Washington

Del. Melvin Stukes

Del. Michael Summers

Del. Michael Weir

Del. Norman Conway

Del. Pamela Beidle

Del. Peter Hammen

Del. Peter Murphy

Del. Roy George

Del. Rudolph Cane

Del. Sam Arora

Del. Sandy Rosenberg

Del. Shane Pendergrass

Del. Shane Robinson

Del. Shaw Tarrant

Del. Sheila Hixson

Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

Del. Stephen Lafferty

Del. Steven DeBoy

Del. Susan Lee

Del. Talmedge Branch

Del. Tawanna Gaines

Del. Theodore Sophocleus

Del. Tom Hucker

Del. Veronica Turner

Sen. Bill Ferguson

Sen. Brian Frosh

Sen. Catherine Pugh

Sen. Delores Kelley

Sen. Douglas Peters

Sen. Edward Kasemeyer

Sen. James Brochin

Sen. James Robey

Sen. James Rosapepe

Sen. Jamie Raskin

Sen. Jennie Forehand

Sen. Joan Carter-Conway

Sen. Joanne Benson

Sen. John Astle

Sen. Karen Montgomery

Sen. Katherine Klausmeier

Sen. Lisa Gladden

Sen. Nancy King

Sen. Nathaniel McFadden

Sen. Norman Stone

Sen. Paul Pinsky

Sen. Richard Madaleno

Sen. Robert Garagiola

Sen. Robert Zirkin

Sen. Roger Manno

Sen. Ronald Young

Sen. Thomas Middleton

Sen. Ulysses Currie

Sen. Verna Jones Rodwell

Sen. Victor Ramirez

 

 

 

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