Massachusetts "Corporations are not People" Initiative (2014)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
The Massachusetts "Corporations are not People" Initiative will not appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Massachusetts as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would have added a constitutional amendment defining the rights of corporations, declaring that corporations are not persons and that money is not free speech.
Supporters have stated they will press on with their campaign and attempt to gather signatures in 2014.
Pass Mass Amendment led the effort to get the measure placed on the ballot.
Path to the ballot
The Office of the Attorney General did not certify the measure for circulation due to the initiative's conflicts with Part II of Article XLVIII of the Massachusetts Constitution. The Office of the Attorney General explained the rejection:
|“||I regret that we are unable to certify that the proposed constitutional amendment complies with the requirements of Article 48, the Initiative, Part 2, Sections 2 and 3. Section 2 states in pertinent part: "No proposition inconsistent with any one of the following rights of the individual, as at present declared in the declaration of rights, shall be the subject of an initiative or referendum petition: The right to receive compensation for private property appropriated to public use; . . . the right of trial by jury; protection from unreasonable search . . . freedom of speech . . . and the right of peaceable assembly." As explained below, the proposed amendment is inconsistent with these rights, both because (1) the Supreme Judicial Court has recognized that corporations enjoy such rights and this amendment would take them away from corporations, and (2) the proposed amendment's grant of unfettered authority to the Legislature to regulate raising and spending money on political campaigns is inconsistent with the free speech and free association ("peaceable assembly") rights of citizens, as well as coiporations and other entitles such as labor unions.||”|
- Massachusetts 2014 ballot measures
- 2014 ballot measures
- Laws governing the initiative process in Massachusetts
- Pass Mass Amendment website, accessed March 14, 2014
- Office of the Attorney General, "Constitutional Amendment to Declare, “Corporations Are Not People, Money Is Not Speech”," accessed December 6, 2014
- Office of the Attorney General, "Attorney General's Decision," accessed December 6, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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