Explanation of Model Municipal Resolution Version 1

Section 1 denies corporations and other artificial entities constitutional rights. As explained in the recitals, this was not the intent of the framers of the U.S. Constitution nor the authors of the various amendments. Artificial entities are not mentioned. The rights contained in the Bill of Rights were conceived as arising out of natural law, not created by but only recognized in the Constitution. Yet, through rigorous and persistent pressure by primarily business corporations filing expensive lawsuits in the federal courts, some constitutional freedoms and protections have been, through the twisting of meanings of key words and legal artifices, stretched by the U.S. Supreme Court to apply to corporations and other artificial entities. Only the People, through a constitutional amendment, can overrule the pronouncements of the Court and reverse these erroneous interpretations of the Constitution.

Section 2 affirms the fact that corporations and other artificial entities are created by law through the employment of legal fictions and have no independent existence outside of the power and authority of the governmental bodies that have made them or that are afforded them by other governments. Accordingly, they have the privileges (to be distinguished from rights) that the People may grant to them at their discretion through the government of the People. As such, these privileges are alienable and may be amended, substituted or withdrawn by governments. Likewise, it reaffirms the power and authority of government to impose limitations upon the abilities and powers of artificial entities and also to impose obligations and responsibilities upon them, so that the People can employ and control these artificial entities and use them for the good of the People and  ensure that they act in the manner intended by the People.

Section 3 reaffirms the authority and power of the People to, through government, regulate campaign finance contributions and expenditures for the important purposes stated: to prevent corruption and undue and unfairly disproportionate influence by wealthy individuals, corporations and interest groups over that of ordinary citizens. It also directs government to so regulate campaign finance for the benefit of the People. Only through meaningful and effective regulation of campaign finance can the People have real power to participate in the election process.

Section 4 compels transparency of the campaign finance process by requiring government to disclose contributions and expenditures to the People so that they may know who supports or opposes candidates and ballot measures in elections, and the degree of that support, as it is information vital to the understanding of the identity of the the candidates’ supporters and those supporting or opposing ballot measures.

Section 5  is intended to restrict the ability of the constitutional review authority of the federal courts by clarifying that as long as laws are enacted specifically to carry out the intention and purposes of the Amendment for the reasons set forth therein, courts may not willy-nilly declare them “unconstitutional” on other grounds in order to circumvent the will of the People expressed in the amendment.

Section 6 anticipates and permits the creation of enabling legislation to carry out the intents of the amendment.