Members of Occupy Terre Haute and Occupy Nomads stood in front of the Terre Haute offices of attorney James Bopp Jr. on Friday to call for a constitutional amendment on the second anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on political campaign funding. In Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission, the high court stated that corporations have the same First Amendment rights as people and can spend unlimited amounts to influence elections, said Leigh Chapman, a Terre Haute resident and member of Occupy Terre Haute. Bopp took the case to the Supreme Court, while another attorney presented the issue before the court.
“Corporations are not people. Money is not speech. Corporations should not be allowed the same status as human beings,” Chapman said, while standing in front of Bopp’s office at Sixth Street and Wabash Avenue. She said corporations dominate the political process through political action committees, high-paid lobbyists and multi-million dollar contributions from very wealthy contributors. “That is not what our founding fathers intended the political process to be like at all,” Chapman said.
Chapman said she supports a “Move to Amend” coalition that seeks a constitutional amendment that “states that rights recognized under the U.S. Constitution belong to human beings only and not to artificial legal entities such as corporations or labor unions and that political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.”