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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1988 FILED ON: 1/15/2015

HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No.         

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Cory Atkins and James B. Eldridge


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act For a U.S. Constitutional Amendment and Amendments Convention.





Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire

Tackey Chan

2nd Norfolk

Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk

Brendan P. Crighton

11th Essex

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

Michelle M. DuBois

10th Plymouth

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Carolyn C. Dykema

8th Middlesex

Lori A. Ehrlich

8th Essex

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Carmine Gentile

13th Middlesex

Kenneth I. Gordon

21st Middlesex

Kate Hogan

3rd Middlesex

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Jay Livingstone

8th Suffolk

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

Harold P. Naughton, Jr.

12th Worcester

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Sarah K. Peake

4th Barnstable

William Smitty Pignatelli

4th Berkshire

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr.

12th Hampden

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

Dennis A. Rosa

4th Worcester

Jeffrey N. Roy

10th Norfolk

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

John W. Scibak

2nd Hampshire

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

Benjamin Swan

11th Hampden

Timothy J. Toomey, Jr.

26th Middlesex

Paul Tucker

7th Essex

Aaron Vega

5th Hampden

Michael J. Barrett

Third Middlesex

Kenneth J. Donnelly

Fourth Middlesex

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

John F. Keenan

Norfolk and Plymouth

Barbara L'Italien

Second Essex and Middlesex

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

Kathleen O'Connor Ives

First Essex

Karen E. Spilka

Second Middlesex and Norfolk

James E. Timilty

Bristol and Norfolk

Daniel A. Wolf

Cape and Islands

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1988 FILED ON: 1/15/2015

HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No.         

[Pin Slip]

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In the One Hundred and Eighty-Ninth General Court

An Act For a U.S. Constitutional Amendment and Amendments Convention.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

WHEREAS, the 1st President of the United States George Washington stated, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government." and,

WHEREAS, it was the stated intention of the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America that the Congress of the United States of America should be "dependent on the people alone." (James Madison, Federalist 52); and,

WHEREAS, that dependency has evolved from a dependency on the people alone to a dependency on those who spend excessively in elections, through campaigns or third-party groups; and,

WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) removed restrictions on amounts of independent political spending; and,

WHEREAS, the removal of those restrictions has resulted in the unjust influence of powerful economic forces, which have supplanted the will of the people by undermining our ability to choose our political leadership, write our own laws, and determine the fate of our state; and

WHEREAS, corporations are artificial entities that governments create and, as such, do not possess the same unalienable rights of natural persons protected by the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, corporations have used a claim to the rights enumerated in the US Constitution, including under the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments, to challenge and overturn democratically enacted laws protecting the public interest; and

WHEREAS Article V of the United States Constitution requires the United States Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments upon application of two-thirds of the legislatures of the several states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS the Commonwealth of Massachusetts sees the need for a convention to propose amendments in order to address concerns about the integrity of our elections and about the ability of the people to participate in effective self-government, specifically those concerns arising from the United States Supreme Court’s rulings limiting the ability of the legislature to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections and granting constitutional rights to corporations; and desires that said convention should be so limited; and

WHEREAS the Commonwealth of Massachusetts desires that the delegates to said convention shall be comprised equally from individuals currently elected to state and local office, or be selected by election in each Congressional district for the purpose of serving as delegates, though all individuals elected or appointed to federal office, now or in the past, be prohibited from serving as delegates to the Convention, and intends to retain the ability to restrict or expand the power of its delegates within the limits expressed above; and

WHEREAS the Commonwealth of Massachusetts intends that this application shall constitute a continuing application, considered together with applications on this subject such as those passed by the State of Vermont (2013-2014 Vermont R454, Joint Resolution Senate No. 27, 160 Congressional Record S4331, POM-284), the State of California (2014 California Resolution Chapter 77, Assembly Joint Resolution No. 1, 160 Congressional Record S5507, POM-320), the State of Illinois (2014 Illinois Senate Joint Resolution No. 42), and proposed by the State of Montana (2015 Montana HJ-3), and all other passed, pending, and future applications, the aforementioned concerns of Massachusetts notwithstanding until such time as two-thirds of the Several States have applied for a Convention and said Convention is convened by Congress;

Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that it calls on Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would affirm that

a) the rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons, i.e. human individuals, only and

b) Congress and the states shall place limits on political contributions and expenditures to ensure that all citizens have access to the political process, and the spending of money to influence elections is not protected free speech under the First Amendment; and

Be it further Resolved that if Congress does not propose this constitutional amendment within 6 months of the passage of this bill, then this bill constitutes a petition by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, speaking through its legislature, and pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, to the Congress to call a Convention for the purpose of proposing Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America as soon as two-thirds of the several States have applied for a Convention; and,

Be it further Resolved, that the Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Clerk of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, to each Senator and Representative from Massachusetts in the Congress of the United States, to the Governor of each State, and to the presiding officers of each legislative body of each of the several States, requesting the cooperation of the several States in issuing an application compelling Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution.


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