First Amendment

Group Opposing Citizens United Pushes 'Occupy the Courts' Protest

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A group called Move to Amend is calling for a one-day “Occupy the Courts” demonstration to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision finding that corporations have a First Amendment right to support political candidates.

The group dispatched a press release calling for protests at federal courthouses on Jan. 20 to mark the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The Recorder’s Legal Pad blog and the New York Observer have stories.

The group’s website has permit applications for would-be protesters, handbills and posters to promote the events, and instructions on how to make a “corporate personhood costume” (PDF). There is also a “corporate personhood song” (PDF) to be sung to the tune of “This Land Is Your Land.” The song asserts that corporations “rape and plunder the world’s resources” and “dump big money into elections.” First Amendment rights have been stolen by corporations, the song asserts. “Those rights belong to you and me.”

Legal Pad has doubts about the federal courts’ reception to such protests. “Now, anyone who’s been through a security screening at a federal building recently knows they aren’t exactly warm and welcoming places for ‘occupations,’ ” the blog says. “No word on how courthouse security folks are handling those protest plans.”

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