The Potential Impact of the People’s Rights Amendment Goes Far Beyond Restricting Freedom of Speech

Ilya Somin
The Volokh Conspiracy

Co-blogger Eugene Volokh has an excellent post on how the proposed People’s Rights Amendment threatens freedom of speech. But it’s important to recognize that the proposal goes far beyond denying free speech rights to entities organized as corporations. It would deny them all other constitutional rights as well. Section 1 of the proposed amendment states that the “the rights protected by this Constitution” are limited to “the rights of natural persons.” Notice that this is not limited to free speech rights or even to First Amendment rights generally. Section emphasizes that “People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.” Notice that this is not limited to for-profit corporations lobbying for their narrow self-interest. It applies to all corporations of any kind, including nonprofits, media corporations, churches, and others.

Thus, the PRA would deny all constitutional rights to all entities organized as corporations. If the Amendment passes, government would be free to search corporate-owned premises at will, restrict freedom of religion at houses of worship owned by corporate entities (which includes most churches), condemn corporate-owned property for private uses and without paying compensation, and so on…

The article continues at The Volokh Conspiracy.

H/T Instapundit “… It’s a horrible idea. And the name sounds like something from the 1968 SDS. Which is pretty fitting, actually . . .”

CAJ note: This People’s Rights Amendment was introduced by MA Congressman Jim McGovern, who Jim Hoft called “one of the top socialists in Congress.” If Hoft is correct, then this amendment will come as no surprise to CAJ readers. Also, the Congressman has been particularly useful in having our troops sent to Uganda. His wikipedia bio is here.

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