News

Challenging Corporate Personhood

Comments (0)
Thursday, March 03, 2011

Vermont state senator Virginia Lyons, who recently introduced a bill in that state's Legislature to redefine personhood (and by extension citizenship) as only applying to human beings, has been continuing to gather support for her bill in both the general population and the business community.

Representatives of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility testified in support of the bill at a hearing of the Legislature's Government Operations Committee, where the resolution will await a vote and may also be subject to "modification." Prominent Vermont businesses and businesspeople including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry's also spoke in support of the bill.

The proposed resolution is likely to get a further push at a forum organized by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, which will be held at 2 p.m. on March 5 at Montpelier High School and feature a keynote address by noted progressive radio and television host Thom Hartman, followed by a panel discussion by Lyons, Cheryl Hanna, constitutional law professor at Vermont Law School, and Rob Weissman, president of the progressive activist group Public Citizen from Washington, D.C.. For more information on the event visit http://sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/events/event/?id=799218a0-3947-49e3-a822-5c63cd0ffe82.

Lyons introduced the bill on the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which she and many others have described as not only having veered sharply away from a century of legal precedents but also having unleashed a tsunami of corporate power in government through newly unrestrained political spending.

Senator Lyons also has been contacted by legislators from several other states, including Washington, Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey, who have expressed interest in introducing similar resolutions in their own states. In response to a question about what other meaningful steps could be taken to preserve a truly democratic government, such as banning paid lobbyists from access to legislators, Senator Lyons replied, "Every year I consider introducing either a rule change for the House and Senate or a resolution to keep registered lobbyists from the State House for one day a week or month. I may do that sooner or later." The full text of Senator Lyons' bill can be read at www.leg.state.vt.us/database/status/summary.cfm?Bill=JRS011&Session=2012.

Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

From Our Readers
Baker: More of the Same; Props to Rohmann; Props to Rohmann
Between the Lines: A Gun Owner’s Resentment
Why make it expensive and difficult for law-abiding residents to possess firearms?
Sorry, Nixon
If the impeachment of our 37th president showed that the system works, what does Obama’s continued political survival say about it?
The Zipcar Is Here
Car sharing takes hold in the Valley.
Under the Microscope
Did ex-WSU president Evan Dobelle use university resources to support an identity as well as a lifestyle?
From Our Readers
Casino Opposition “Selfish”; Cut Foreign Aid, Not Our Military
Between the Lines: Deval’s Capital Management
He can rehab his office, but what about his legacy?
From Snowden to the Pentagon Papers
Can student interest in civics be rekindled?