Corporate Free Speech Trumps Local Self-Determination

Earlier this month, a federal court declared a Worcester regulation limiting tobacco ads (enacted for community health reasons) unconstitutional, on the grounds that corporate free speech has been expanded to include advertising. 

Tobacco companies have a constitutional right to communicate with adult consumers through retail advertising and this court appropriately recognized that,” said Murray Garnick, a senior vice president at Altria Client Services, a subsidiary of Philip Morris’ parent company. “We will continue to vigorously defend this right when it is challenged.”

Boston Globe, May 2012

‘We the People’ can Overturn ‘Citizens United’

There are only two ways a Supreme Court ruling can be overturned.  The court can do so in a new case, or the people can do so by ratifying a Constitutional amendment, as we have done at least six times before.

Given the corporate-friendly approach of the current Roberts court, we cannot wait for the Supreme Court to correct Citizens United.

–Jeff Clements and Rep. Jim McGovern, in the Boston Globe, January, 2012

Ned Rightor, Needham resident

Corporations’ first loyalty is to their shareholders’ interests, not our nation–even if those interests conflict.

If corporations were people, they would be traitors.

Members of a corporation as individuals already have the rights and responsibilities of citizens; they should have no added power to influence public affairs.

–Ned Rightor, Needham resident, from our petition

Citizens United opens super PAC attack on their peers– you and me

Citizens of the United States have the right to speak from their soap boxes, or buy TV ads for their voices to be heard in the free marketplace of ideas during political elections.

But most of us

can’t afford

to buy TV ads.

With their special ability to amass enormous amounts of wealth, corporations now have a lopsided advantage to advance their interests.

Daily Sundial op-ed, Feb 2012

News: “High court agrees to consider corporate free speech post-Citizen United”

 the corporations said the Montana ban was in violation of their rights, as determined by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which asserts that Corporations have same speech rights as people.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider taking another bite of the corporate political free speech apple recently, accepting a petition asking justices to summarily overturn a Montana Supreme Court decision petitioners [2 Montana corporations] say flies in the face of Citizens United.

In upholding a ban on corporate independent expenditures in state elections, the Montana justices determined that “unlike Citizens United, this case concerns Montana law, Montana elections and it arises from Montana history.”

Liberty and Justice for Some

That ruling, the petition said, raises the question for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider: “Whether Montana is bound by the holding of Citizens United, that a ban on corporate independent political expenditures is a violation of the First Amendment, when the ban applies to state, rather than federal, elections.”

Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission is the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision two years ago that effectively ended the restrictions on political contributions from the general funds of corporations and unions.

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