Ordinance to Deny Corporate Personhood : Massachusetts


Section 1. Name. The name of this Ordinance shall be the "Corporate Privilege Elimination and Democracy Protection Ordinance."

Section 2. Authority. This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the authority granted to the City/Town by all relevant state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, the following:

The general authority granted by the Constitution of Massachusetts and the Cities, Towns, and Districts Code to make and adopt all such ordinances, bylaws, rules, and regulations as may be deemed expedient or necessary for the proper management, care, and control of the City/Town and its finances and the maintenance of the health, safety, peace, good government, and welfare of the City/Town.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Pt. 1, Art. 1, which provides that government is instituted for the common good, for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people, and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Amend. Art. 2, 6, which empowers cities and towns to adopt local ordinances and exercise any power and function that the general court has power to confer upon it.

Massachusetts General Laws, Tit. VI, Counties and County Officers, Ch. 34A, 16, which provides that cities and towns are the broad repository of local police power in terms of the right and power to legislate for the general health, safety, and welfare of their residents.

Section 3. General Purpose. The general purpose of this Ordinance is to recognize that:

(1) A corporation is a legal fiction that is created by the express permission of the people of this City/Town as citizens of this State;

(2) Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by Supreme Court justices to include corporations in the term "persons" has long wrought havoc with our democratic process by endowing corporations with constitutional privileges originally intended solely to protect the citizens of the United States;

(3) This judicial bestowal of civil and political rights upon corporations interferes with the administration of laws within this City/Town and usurps basic human and constitutional rights exercised by citizens of this City/Town;

(4) The judicial designation of corporations as "persons" grants corporations the power to sue municipal governments for adopting laws that violate the claimed constitutional rights of corporations;

(5) The judicial designation of corporations as "persons" requires that municipal governments recognize the corporation as a legitimate participant in public hearings, zoning hearing board appeals, and other governmental matters before the municipality;

(6) The judicial designation of corporations as "persons" grants corporations unfettered access to local elections and First Amendment rights that enable corporations to control public debate on and discussion about important issues;

(7) By virtue of the wealth possessed by corporations, buttressed by these protections of law, corporations enjoy constitutional privileges to an extent beyond the reach of most citizens;

(8) When the Massachusetts legislature knowingly authorizes corporations to do business in this State under the current framework of legal protections, the legislature enables corporations to wield their constitutional privileges to interfere with democratic governance within this City/Town;

(9) Democracy means government by the people. Only citizens of this City/Town should be able to participate in the democratic process in the City/Town and enjoy a republican form of government;

(10) Interference by corporations in the democratic process usurps the rights of citizens to participate in the democratic process in the City/Town and enjoy a republican form of government;

(11) The ability of citizens of this City/Town to establish rules to protect the health, safety, and welfare of City/Town residents has been diminished by the exercise of constitutional privileges by corporations.

Section 4. Specific Purpose. The specific purpose of this Ordinance is to eliminate the purported constitutional rights of corporations in order to remedy the harms that corporations cause to the citizens of the City/Town by exercise of such rights.

Section 5. Statement of Law. Corporations shall not be considered to be "persons" protected by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Massachusetts within the City/Town of __________.

Section 6. Severability. The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of the Ordinance shall be held illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of this Ordinance. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the City/Town that this Ordinance would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional section, clause, sentence, part, or provision had not been included herein.

Section 7. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall be effective immediately upon passage or as soon thereafter as permitted by law.

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