Party Resolutions

Resolution 2009-043: Opposing Corporate Personhood

Sponsored by: Richard Harisay & Marion County Democratic Central Committee Approved: 12/06/2009


WHEREAS, (as stated in the preamble to our Oregon State Democratic Platform) “…as Oregon Democrats, we assert that the citizens of our state and our country ARE the government, we hold up the Bill of Rights and derived civil liberties as the enduring standard of liberty, and we firmly oppose abrogation of those rights and liberties in the name of governmental convenience or security”, and

WHEREAS, The basis for establishing rights as “persons” for corporations under the U.S. Constitution has been and currently is based upon a questionable interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in Santa Clara County vs Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886, and

WHEREAS, Our country and the world have suffered catastrophic economic devastation as a result of the ensuing imbalance of political and economic power, and

WHEREAS, Corporations, relying on the Supreme Court’s Buckley vs Valeo decision, now wield undue political influence since they are allowed to use money to exercise their putative first amendment rights.


1. We strongly urge our state legislators to submit and vote for a State constitutional amendment that declares that in the State of Oregon corporations shall not be recognized as persons nor accrue the rights of persons under State laws.

2. We strongly urge our Representatives to the U.S. Congress as well as our Senators to the U.S. Congress to submit an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which declares that “the rights and privileges granted by this document shall accrue to natural persons only.”

3. We strongly urge our State Legislators to begin the U.S. Constitutional amendment process in our state and urge other states to do likewise to achieve a two-thirds majority of states so that it may then be submitted to all states for ratification.