Nancy Pelosi and some House Dems have proposed the following Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Section 1.  We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons. 

Section 2.  People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution. 

Section 3.  Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

(N.B. Yes, this proposed Amendment is real.)

Personally, I don't think this will get anywhere. It's fanciful thinking but it will be too impractical to actually implement.

Though I did have a question about Section 3. Conservatives are calling Section 3 a scam (along with the entire Amendment, which I agree with) but here's my question: if Congress did abridge the rights listen in Sec. 3, couldn't suits still be brought against the laws, just like they are today? (an example being Obamacare). After all, such laws that abridge the aforementioned rights would still be violating the Constitution and would therefore be unconstitutional. So what's the hullabaloo about Section 3?

Thoughts on my question and thoughts on the Amendment as a whole?

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Replies to This Discussion

Heh.  Some libertarian.

 

Why should a group of individuals have fewer protections from government intrusion than an individual by his lonesome?  Why should one man's speech be protected, and 1,000 mens' collective speech be open to suppression?

 

The rights of the group rest on the rights of the individual.  Limiting the rights of the group limits the rights of the individuals therein -- and limits the free association rights of people who would like to join, but fear government suppression.

 

If you find that acceptable, you're not a libertarian.

 

JB

Sorry, but the US Supreme Court has disagreed with your definition of what constitutes a contract for over 200 years.  Contracts are between persons, not individuals, and for legal purposes (mainly the enforcement of individual's contract rights against corporations), a corporation is a person.

This is scary beyond belief.  Section 1.  'natural persons'.  Like we haven't opened this can of worms already, but if an ammendment, shouldn't it state ammendment rather than Constitution?  But wait, there is more.  If the point is in Section2: natural persons are not corporations, etc. you are still left with the Congress attempting to define what natural persons are.  With issues such as immigration, health care, etc. dominating the current political landscape, why would Congress want to define a natural person.  Is an immigrant a 'natural person'?  What about unborn?  This becomes an untenable definition to construct, as there is no consensus currently about that.  And section 3: if you have to clarify that this does not affect the Bill of Rights, why do it in the first place? 

Perhaps, Congress should write and pass a law (you know, their job) that takes from the the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and make sure it passes not only Constitutional muster, but also the precedent set by SCOTUS the century prior?  To me, this seems like a cheap way to act without attempting to seriously address the problems.

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