Move to Amend

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Move to Amend is a political organization in the United States that seeks to blunt corporate power via a constitutional amendment that ends corporate personhood and states that money is not speech. The group was created in response to the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling held that corporations have a First Amendment right to make expenditures from their general treasuries supporting or opposing candidates for political office. Move to Amend argues that the Court's decision disrupts the democratic process by granting disproportionate influence to the wealthy.[1] Move to Amend's strategy has included supporting city councils, including the Los Angeles City Council, to vote to end corporate personhood.[2] David Cobb, 2004 Green Party presidential candidate, has been a leader of the group,[3] as has Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap,[4] executive director of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.[5] Riki Ott, a co-director of Ultimate Civics, is a co-founder[6] along with Ben Manski,[7] an executive director of the Liberty Tree Foundation.[8]

Mark Schmitt, former editor of The American Prospect, characterizes Move to Amend as part of the amendment movement that is premised on the misguided idea that efforts should focus on amending the Constitution, which neglects "progress on other solutions, including public financing, improvements in corporate governance to give shareholders more say in political contributions, disclosure improvements, and better enforcement of existing laws by both the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service."[9] Schmitt cites Lawrence Lessig, who says in Republic, Lost, that Citizens United wasn't reached "because it held that corporations were 'persons' and for that reason, entitled to First Amendment rights. Instead, the opinion hung upon the limits of the First Amendment."[9] Schmitt says that the Supreme Court's error hinged upon an overly restrictive definition of political corruption. Schmitt has also said that the idea of pursuing a constitutional amendment itself is a "fundraising gimmick for Democrats and little else, since they know it will never happen. Every Senate Democrat up for reelection in 2014 used it in their fundraising emails."[10]


  1. ^ "Move to Amend". Move to Amend. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ Dolan, Eric W. (December 6, 2011). "Los Angeles votes to end corporate personhood". Rawstory. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ Michael Gillespie (Jan/Feb 2011). "David Cobb Speaks at WILPF-DM Awards Banquet". The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs Vol 30. Iss 1: p 60.
  4. ^ Devin Henry (7/14/14) Senate vs. Citizens United: Democrats push campaign finance constitutional amendment MinnPost Archive URL.
  5. ^ and and all accessed 3/27/2015
  6. ^ Riki Ott (Autumn 2012). "Citizens united against Citizens United: A movement is building to amend the Constitution". Earth Island Journal Vol 27. Iss. 3. pp. 40,42.
  7. ^ Ahmad, Meher; DiNovella, Elizabeth. "We, the People". The Progressive Vol 76. Iss. 4: pp. 8-9.
  8. ^ Matthew Rothschild (April 2010). "Corporations Aren't Persons: Amend the Constitution". The Progressive Vol 74. Iss 4.: pp. 16,18-20.
  9. ^ a b Mark Schmitt (January 20, 2012) New Republic: The Wrong Way to Fix Citizens United The New Republic and NPR.
  10. ^ Mark Schmitt on August 28, 2015 How Larry Lessig's presidential campaign changed the campaign reform agenda Vox.

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