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Why Vote ‘Yes’ on Article 15?
By Barry Rosenberg
At Westford Town Meeting, on June 12, we will vote on Article 15, Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If passed, the Town of Westford calls upon the United States Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution establishing
- Constitutional rights are for real persons only
- election spending is not free speech and therefore subject to regulation by federal and state governments.
More than 200 Massachusetts towns have passed similar resolutions.
Eight of nine Massachusetts U.S. Representatives co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 48, a similar amendment proposal, in 2019.
The Citizens Commission, established in 2018 by a Massachusetts Ballot Question 2, recommends that Massachusetts petition Congress to amend the Constitution and endorse the state bills similar to House Joint Resolution 48.
If Article 15 passes, our resolution will be sent to Massachusetts and U.S. elected officials.
Westford will remind Massachusetts that they must become the sixth state to petition Congress.
Do non-profit organizations need “Constitutional rights?”
In 1958 the Alabama NAACP and in 1963 the Virginia NAACP, 50 years before Citizens United, successfully defended their members rights using the Constitutional rights granted to human beings.
Do non-profit organizations exploit “Constitutional rights?”
In 2000 the Boy Scouts of America fought New Jersey law and won the right to discriminate against gays via the BSA’s “right” of free association.
FYI- Citizens United, the NRA and the Citizens for Prosperity Foundation are non-profit organizations.
Have corporations exploited “Constitutional rights” in Massachusetts?
In 2001 Lorrilard Tobacco overturned a public interest Massachusetts law and won the right to advertise cigarettes within 1,000 feet of schoolyards as “free speech”.
Is unregulated election spending a First Amendment right?
Members of Congress spend 40 percent of their time fundraising.
Sheldon and Miriam Adelson contributed $218 million dollars to campaigns in 2020.
If your family and the Adelsons have different agendas, whose free speech will Congress listen to?
Do you believe that limiting political spending gives the average citizen’s free speech more clout?
Do you believe “Constitutional rights” for artificial entities leaves citizens less protected?
If you do, voting “Yes” on the Amendment to the Constitution Article at Town Meeting is an opportunity to exercise your free speech (and right some critical wrongs).— Barry Rosenberg
Editor’s note: Barry Rosenbergis a resident of Westford.