Support grassroots effort to ammend to U.S. Constitution

To the Editor:

Four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its now infamous Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court decided that it was an unconstitutional ban on free speech to limit corporations, labor unions and associations in using their treasuries to support or oppose political candidates.

The decision was bewildering to both common citizens and legal scholars. In writing the original dissenting minority opinion, Justice David Souter claimed the court had contrived an expansive decision overturning decades of election law and ruling on issues that neither Citizens United nor the FEC had presented. Justice Souter was from New Hampshire. His Supreme Court nomination was made by President George H.W. Bush, and sponsored by the late New Hampshire Sen, Warren Rudman. Justice Souter announced his retirement while working on the dissenting opinion.

There is a growing movement nationwide to correct the unfortunate Supreme Court decision through a constitutional amendment, and hopefully, Bedford voters will have a chance to weigh in. An initiative petition has been signed by in excess of the 50 Bedford voters required to meet the Bedford Town Council, certified by the Bedford Town Clerk and submitted to the Bedford Town Council for its Feb. 26 agenda.

If approved by the council, the following ballot question would be included with the Town ballot on March 11:

Do you support the following resolution in favor of amending the Constitution of the United States as follows?

RESOLVED, the Voters of Bedford, NH stand with communities across the country to defend democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate, labor and special interest group power by amending the United States Constitution to establish that:

1. Only human beings, not corporations, labor unions or special interest organizations are endowed with constitutional rights, and

2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the People of Bedford, NH, hereby instruct our state and federal representatives to enact resolutions and legislation to advance this effort.

____ YES ____ NO

I urge Bedford voters to protect and exercise their citizenship by supporting this grassroots ballot initiative to amend the U.S. Constitution.