This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
If you are a Salt Lake City voter, you have just received a ballot on whether our representatives should work to amend the U.S. Constitution. The proposed amendment says that "artificial entities" (anything that is not a "natural person") "shall have NO rights under the Constitution" and are subject to unlimited regulation by government at all levels.
Not only would corporations no longer have First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, religion or the press, neither would newspapers, churches, unions and even the group proposing the amendment.
It would also end the Fourth Amendment requirement for a warrant before any search of a business or other "artificial entity." The government could demand any records of a business, such as your phone or Internet usage or banking information, without having to get a warrant.
The proposed amendment would also end the Fifth Amendment right to compensation when the government takes any property of an "artificial entity."
What Move to Amend proposes goes far beyond reversing the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
I urge voters to consider the consequences of such a sweeping amendment beyond limiting the political speech of a corporation, and then vote against the question.
Salt Lake City