Federal and state-by-state
Here is the proposed modification of the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment (adding in the word "natural" before the word "person"):
U.S. Const. Amend. XIV, § 1: All natural persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law that shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any natural person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any natural person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Since the Santa Clara ruling in 1886, some states were pressured by corporate interests to modify their constitutions to recognize corporate personhood, or to generalize the definitions of protected "persons." Thus, to clearly define human rights as being exclusively for humans, each state constitution also has to be amendmended. (And that process may well lead to the Federal amendment.) In most cases, the amendment simply involves inserting the word "natural" before the word "person."
Click on the state you live in for the constitutional amendment customized for that state:
Alabama - Alaska - Arizona - Arkansas - California - Colorado - Connecticut - Delaware - District of Columbia - Florida - Georgia - Hawaii - Idaho - Illinois - Indiana - Iowa - Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana - Maine - Maryland - Massachusetts - Michigan - Minnesota - Mississippi - Missouri - Montana - Nebraska - Nevada - New Hampshire - New Jersey - New Mexico - New York - North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma - Oregon - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - South Dakota - Tennessee - Texas - Utah - Vermont - Virginia - Washington - West Virginia - Wisconsin - Wyoming
Excerpted from Thom Hartmann's book Unequal Protection:
Attorney Daniel Brannen also drafted the following commentary and Constitutional Amendments for this book:
The rhetorical context in which the word “person” appears in the Fourteenth Amendment reflects that it means “natural person.” Section 1 begins: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” This sentence clearly defines which subset of natural persons are citizens of the United States. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that later references to “persons” mean natural persons. From this rhetorical context and the even more compelling social context of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, it is clear that America adopted them to protect the civil liberties of newly freed slaves and all human beings, not of artificial corporations.
The Supreme Court, however, has since ruled that this language in the Constitution means that corporations are persons the same as natural persons.
One way to correct these perversions is to change the language of the federal and state constitutions to refer to “natural persons” in the due process and equal protection sections. The following table contains proposed amendatory language. When a constitutional section contains many provisions in addition to the due process or equal protection clauses, the entry below indicates that it only covers a portion of the section by using the parenthetical indication “(in part).”
The reader should keep in mind that changing the language in the equal protection and due process clauses in state constitutions may only be part of what is required to strip corporations of those protections. There are a number of reasons for this. First, many state constitutions, in addition to due process and equal protection clauses, contain yet separate sections that list the inherent or inalienable rights of “persons.” Second, state constitutions often have separate sections concerning the rights of “persons” or “the accused” in criminal or civil trials or investigations. Third, state constitutions often identify other civil and political rights of “persons.”
Changing the due process and equal protection provisions to read “natural persons” while leaving these other sections intact may lead courts to interpret the unchanged sections to apply to corporations. Finally, many state constitutions have entire articles devoted to corporations, and many of these contain sections to the effect that corporations may sue, and are subject to being sued, in court in like cases as natural persons. Whether any of these articles or sections will have to be amended to strip corporations of due process and equal protection rights depends on the constitutional law of the individual states.
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