Submitted by the Boston Ethical Community and Passed by the 101st American Ethical Union Annual Assembly
Amend the United States Constitution: Corporations are Not Persons and Money is Not Speech
Because Ethical Culture is based on the inherent worth and dignity of every human person and in the use of the democratic process in society at large, the American Ethical Union passes the following resolution:
Whereas a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings have established corporations as persons, equated money with speech, and eliminated limits on the amounts that corporations and wealthy individuals can contribute to political campaigns and political advertising; and
Whereas these court-created doctrines have flooded the political landscape with unprecedented amounts of money from corporations and other interests, corrupting our democratic processes and putting our entire democracy at risk; and
Whereas Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides for amendments, a process that has occurred 27 times including seven constitutional amendments that have overturned U.S. Supreme Court decisions; and
Whereas there are pending proposals in Congress and several states that need action now to achieve passage of such an amendment; and
Whereas the American Ethical Union has already passed a resolution opposing the 2010 “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision (30 June 2011); and
Whereas an amendment to the Constitution is needed to overturn these decisions and eliminate both corporate personhood and money as speech.
Therefore, be it resolved that the 101st AEU Assembly instructs the American Ethical Union to make their endorsement formal and public, supporting efforts to amend the Constitution; and
Be it resolved that the AEU further requests member Societies and/or their Ethical Action committees to pass resolutions of support, to endorse a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations are not persons and money is not speech, and to actively join in advancing this important cause.
Be it further resolved that the AEU shall aggressively publicize this resolution to a broad range of media outlets so as to make our voice heard on this critical ethical initiative.