Is Bank of America a Person?

According to the Supreme Court it is, the same as you and I are.

In 2009 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the Citizens United case, which essentially endowed corporations with personhood under the Constitution of the United States.  This gave corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money from their coffers to try to influence elections.  This ruling, combined with an earlier ruling that equated monetary expenditures in a political campaign to speech, directly threatens the concept of democracy, that is, rule by the people.

The founders of our nation guaranteed citizens the right to speak freely and voice their opinions in public forums.  This right was given to citizens.  They even looked critically on corporations, limiting their existence in the early years of our nation to 20 years.  This is no longer the case, and corporations, created through and governed by laws, can easily outlive generations of humans.

The Citizens United case slammed the door on provisions in the McCain-Feingold Act that limited the amount of corporate contributions to political campaigns. Granting a non-human entity created by law the same rights as human citizens runs contrary not only to the intent of the Constitution, which was written to protect citizens, but also to common sense.  This ruling effectively drowns out your voice and my voice and the voices of millions of people because the CEO of a corporation can now spend unlimited amounts of corporate cash to influence elections.

If you think this is a problem, you can have an opportunity at Town Meeting in March to register your disapproval.  Petitions are being circulated throughout Vermont to have a resolution on the agenda in as many towns a possible to urge Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons and that money is not speech.  You can find and sign this petition for Charlotte at the Old Brick Store, at Spear's Store, and at the library, Senior Center and Town Office.  You can also print, sign and circulate this petition here.  Then return it to the Town Clerk's office by January 6th.

Let's put Vermont on the record opposing corporate personhood and save our democracy from turning into a corporatocracy.