We believe that the Massachusetts Constitution requires clarification so that the courts may understand the will of the people. The clarification is proposed as an Amendment. We will state the legal reasoning for our Amendment language by addressing each section independently:
Section 1. Corporations are not people and may be regulated… - Corporations are awarded no rights in our Constitution, only restrictions. Article VI reads, “No man, nor corporation, or association of men, have any other title to obtain advantages, or particular and exclusive privileges, distinct from those of the community, than what arises from the consideration of services rendered to the public…” The Massachusetts Legislature has total control over any corporate charter and any right that a corporation may be allowed to use through Massachusetts General Law Chapter 155 Section 3, which states, “Every act of incorporation passed since March 11th, eighteen hundred and thirty-one, shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the general court. All corporations organized under general laws shall be subject to such laws as may be hereafter passed affecting or altering their corporate rights or duties or dissolving them…“
Section 2. Money is not speech and may be regulated… - The only reference to “free speech” in our original Constitution can be found in Article XXI, where it states, “The freedom of deliberation, speech and debate in either house of the Legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it can not be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever.” Since the 1884 enactment of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 320 Section 7, and subsequent editions of that law, any solicitation or accepting of money by any elected official in the Houses of the Legislature or any public building is illegal. This proves to us that money has never been considered speech in Massachusetts.
Seciton 3. This section need not be addressed in this memo.