H.J. Res. 88 (112th Congress)
Rep. J. McGovern (D-MA)
Free Speech for People
Legal Personhood: C
Money as Speech: n/a
We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.
The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do 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.
Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association and all such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.
Rep. McGovern’s proposal does a relatively good job of defining “natural persons” in the constitution, but, as technology and biotechnology rapidly advances, the definition of natural persons may not be as inclusive as we believe today. “Living human beings” is less ambiguous and cannot be so easily redefined. It also makes it more difficult for an activist Court to expand the definition of personhood to include legal fictions. Trying to define all the things that are not included in the definition of “persons” may not encompass all possible entities, while simply defining what persons are would omit all current and future types of legal fictions.
The biggest problem is the failure to mention unions. This would be a nearly perfect legal personhood proposal if unions were mentioned in the list of artificial entities excluded from the definition of natural persons. Non-profit corporations are on that list here, so it’s better than most proposals on that score. The phrase, “…deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution,” is too deferential.