Come to Hollis Town Meeting for campaign spending Constitutional amendment

To the Editor:

At the Town Meeting on March 12, residents will be asked to debate and vote on a warrant article that is a resolution requesting that the Selectmen petition the state representatives, congressional Representatives and the president of the United States to amend the United States Constitution to define “person” and regulate political campaign spending.

In 1787, the U.S. Constitution set out a framework or skeleton on which Congress can write the necessary laws to govern a collection of states in one national government. As an example, the Constitution gives Congress power to write laws organizing the Supreme Court and the lower courts.

The Constitution lays out a way of amending the framework through a two-thirds vote of Congress followed by a three-quarters vote of all the states. In 1791, 10 amendments were added.

Constitution amendments have been necessary to reverse decisions by the Supreme Court. An obvious example is the 13th Amendment ending slavery and reversing the Dred Scott decision. After the Civil War, Congress and the states used the term “persons” found in the 5th Amendment. In the 14th Amendment, “all persons born or naturalized in this United States” can not be denied “due process of law” by the individual states.

In 2014, we must use the amendment process to reverse two Supreme Court Decisions. In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled that political campaign spending is “free speech.” This gives the wealthy “person” a very loud voice. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are “persons.” This permits corporations and unions to spend unrestricted funds in political campaigns.

An amendment to the Constitution is needed to define “persons” as “all persons born or naturalized the United States,” not an organization of stockholders.

Come to the Town Meeting to raise your voice and vote to bring forward this necessary amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Seventeen states have already passed this resolution and 15 states are considering action.