HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 4361
In the Year Two Thousand Twelve
An Act restoring free speech.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution was designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations;
WHEREAS, for the past three decades, a divided United States Supreme Court has transformed the First Amendment into a powerful tool for corporations seeking to evade and invalidate democratically-enacted reforms;
WHEREAS, this corporate takeover of the First Amendment has reached its extreme conclusion in the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Citizens United v. FEC;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general treasury funds in our elections;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC will now unleash a torrent of corporate money in our political process unmatched by any campaign expenditure totals in United States history;
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC presents a serious and direct threat to our democracy;
WHEREAS, the people of the United States have previously used the constitutional amendment process to correct those egregiously wrong decisions of the United States Supreme Court that go to the heart of our democracy and self-government;
Now be it resolved that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hereby calls upon the United States Congress to pass and send to the states for ratification a constitutional amendment to restore the First Amendment and fair elections to the people.