FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 28, 2015
Contact: Keyan Bliss, press [at] movetoamend.org, (707) 269-0984
Move to Amend Rejects California Supreme Court’s
Ruling on Proposition 49
Oral Arguments On Ballot Measure’s Constitutionality Scheduled for October 6th
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments regarding a challenge to a proposed advisory question in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) v. Padilla on October 6. Last year, the California Legislature passed a law (SB 1272) to place an advisory question (Proposition 49) on the November 2014 ballot, asking voters if the state legislature and the United States Congress should support a Constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood and get money out of politics. The amendment would overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to big money in elections.
In response to a HJTA lawsuit against Proposition 49, California Supreme Court justice Goodwin Liu issued a preliminary ruling that the ballot measure was likely to violate the California Constitution, which the majority claimed, does not allow such an “advisory” measure as a permissible means to exercise legislative power. Several organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of Proposition 49, arguing a provision of the California Constitution provides the right of the people to “instruct their representatives” through such ballot measures.
“In a nation where corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors are given privileged access to lawmakers and the democratic process, the idea that a state legislature cannot seek the public’s input through a statewide ballot question flies in the face of the basic principle of government of, by, and for the people,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, National Director of Move to Amend. “Any claim that ‘We the People’ have no right to weigh in on important issues like campaign finance regulation or constitutional rights is either profoundly ignorant about democracy or willfully attempting to suppress it. We reject the Court’s decision to remove Proposition 49 from the California ballot and call on the American people to build a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to make clear that money is not speech and that corporations are not people with constitutional rights.”
Move to Amend is a rapidly growing national grassroots coalition of nearly 400,000 individuals and thousands of organizations working to pass a constitutional amendment to state that Constitutional rights belong to human beings only, not to corporations and other artificial entities, and that campaign spending is not a form of protected speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated. The group formed in 2009 in preparation for the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling on January 21, 2010. Their “We The People amendment” was introduced in the US House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.
Move to Amend representatives are available for interviews with the press about the HJTA v. Padilla case. To arrange an interview, please contact press [at] movetoamend.org or call 707-269-0984.