Ballot Question 4 Challenges Corporate Personhood

By Meredith McCulloch

On November 6, Bedford citizens will have the opportunity to vote on whether Massachusetts should support a 28thAmendment to the United States Constitution designed toreverse the Citizen’s United ruling by the Supreme Court.

The question is non-binding and appears on ballots in six of the state’s 40 Senate districts. The Massachusetts House and Senate in a bi-partisan action voted to support such an amendment last summer. Approval by the voters will affirm their decision.

The ballot question reads

Shall the state senator from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. constitution affirming that (1) corporations are not entitled to the constitutional rights of human beings, and (2) both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending?

A national effort to amend the Constitution arose after the Supreme Court ruled in January 2010 that corporations have the same rights of free speech as individuals and may spend unlimited amounts of money on campaign advertising.Opponents to the ruling believe that corporate funding has a corrupting influence on elections. Eight state legislatures have voted to support a constitutional amendment, and resolutions have been passed in many municipalities. Similar resolutions, many using different language, have been proposed in the U.S. Senate and House.

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Laurie Gleason
November 5, 2012 9:18 am

Bedford voters have a special opportunity to answer
this question: do we the people have more rights than
them-the-corporations? The answer is YES. The Democracy Amendment
ballot question gives us a chance to tell our elected lawmakers that
we support a constitutional amendment to get big money out of our
politics. I see this as a bi-partisan issue and urge people to vote
Yes on Ballot Question 4. Thank you for bringing attention
to this important ballot question. I suspect many Bedford residents are not
aware of it since it is not on the ballet statewide.
Laurie Gleason

Edward Young
November 5, 2012 8:16 pm
Reply to  Laurie Gleason

Sure, vote for this proposal if you think that the New York Times, a corporation, should not have the right of free speech. Or the right to be free from warrantless governmental wiretaps and other searches. Sure, go right ahead.