NY City Council Passes Resolution Declaring that Corporations Are Not People
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 4, 2012
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City Council Passes Resolution Declaring that Corporations Are Not People
NEW YORK, NY — The Progressive Caucus of the City Council commends today’s passage of a resolution opposing the United States Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as people. Progressive Caucus Members Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Steve Levin sponsored this resolution, with the entirety of the Progressive Caucus as co-sponsors. We thank Speaker Christine Quinn for her leadership on this important issue.
As our support of this resolution demonstrates, restoring confidence in government and strengthening democratic participation is a core principle of the Progressive Caucus. We believe that corporations should not share the same rights as people, that unlimited and unreported corporate donations meant to sway the electoral process should not be considered freedom of speech, and that the government should regulate the raising and spending of money by corporations intended to influence elections. We cannot allow corporate money to manipulate our democracy.
As Justice John Paul Stevens recognized in his dissent in the Citizens United decision, “corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help facilitate and structure the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
The Progressive Caucus supports this sentiment and urges Congress to take action to protect our democracy against corporate control and return the election process to the people.