Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ballot Question 6 – Resolution on Amendment to U.S. Constitution - Not Binding

Franklin voters will see six ballot questions at the November 4th State Election. The first four ballot questions are the same for all Massachusetts voters. The 5th and 6th questions are unique to Franklin.


The ballot question asks essentially whether your State Representative should be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution, stating that the rights protected under the United States Constitution belong to natural persons only, not corporations. The resolution would also indicate that states may place limits on political contributions and political spending. This would be in response to the United States Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, 558 U.S. ____ (2010), a case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by corporations. In the Citizens United decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the government may not keep corporations from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. It ruled that corporations, as virtual persons, have the same free speech rights as living, breathing persons. The ballot question seeks support for resolution to overturn the Citizens United decision by
amending the United States Constitution. 
The question appears on the Franklin ballot under Article XIX of the Massachusetts
Constitution, Part I and M.G.L. c. 53, section 19. Under the Massachusetts Constitution, the people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to give instructions to their
representatives on public policy matters. Over the summer, residents of the 10th Norfolk
District signed petitions, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 53, section 19, asking that the ballot question below be submitted to the voters in this community.

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Question 6 is Not Binding

Shall the state representative from this district be instructed to vote in favor of a resolution calling upon Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution affirming that 1) rights protected under the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only and 2) both Congress and the states may place limits on political contributions and political spending?
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What does it mean by saying this is "not binding"?
The vote is form informational purposes and the representative (Jeff Roy) will take the information into consideration when he casts his vote in the MA House. He is not bound to vote according to the results of the question.

The information contained here can also be downloaded in a PDF format for printing here

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