ESRA: Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Tikkun, September/October 2010 | Go to article overview

ESRA: Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution


The intent of the f ramers of this amendment is to accomplish the following:

* Protect the planet Earth and its inhabitants from environmentally destructive economic arrangements and behavior and increase environmental responsibility on the part of all corpo rations and government bodies.

* Increase U.S. citizens' democratic control over American economic and political institutions and ensure that all people, regardless of income, have the same electoral clout, influence, and power to shape our government's policies and programs.

* Promote the well-being of the citizens of the United States by creating new checks and balances to ensure that public policy at every level of government reflects the recognition that our well-being depends on the well-being of the planet and all its inhabitants, and to recognize that our well-being in the United States urgently requires an end to global poverty, wars (under any name or formulation that involves the use of violence), and both overt and institutional violence and also depends on the rise of a new global ethic of genuine caring and mutual interdependence.

Article One: The Pro-Democracy Clause

A. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution shall apply only to human beings, not to corporations, limited liability associations, and other artificial entities created by the laws of the United States.

B. Money or other currency shall not be considered a form of speech within the meaning of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and its expenditure is subject to regulation by Congress and by the legislatures of the several states.

C. Congress shall regulate the amount of money used to disseminate ideas or shape public opinion in any federal election in order to assure that all major points of view regarding issues and candidates receive equal exposure to the greatest extent possible. Congress shall fund all major candidates for the House, Senate, and presidency in all major elections and in primaries for the nomination for president by major parties (those which have obtained at least 5 percent of the vote in the last election for president) or any party that can obtain the signatures of at least 5 percent of the relevant electorate for any given office who are not already registered voters of another party.

D. In the two months prior to a primary for those seeking a national office, and for the three months prior to any general election for a national office (the presidency, the House of Representatives, or the U.S. Senate), all media or any other means of mass communication reaching more than 300,000 people shall provide equal time without charge to all major presidential candidates to present their views for at least an hour at least once a week, and equal time at least once every two weeks for congressional and senatorial candidates, during that media agency's prime time (when it is most widely listened to or viewed). The candidates shall determine the form and content ofthat communication. Print media reaching more than 300,000 people shall provide equal space in the news, editorial, or most frequently read section of the newspaper or magazine or blog site or other means of communication that may be developed in the future. During the three months prior to an election, no candidate, no political party, and no organization seeking to influence public policy may buy time in any media or form of mass communication or any other form of mass advertising, including on the Internet. Major candidates shall be defined thus:

1. Those who have at least 5 percent of support as j udged by the average of at least ten independent polling firms, at least two of which are selected by the candidates deemed "not major," three months before any given election.

2. Or any candidate who can collect the signatures of 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the primary for their party's nomination election, when considering primary elections, and, when considering general elections, any candidate who receives signatures of 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the general election for that office the last time that office was contested. …

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ESRA: Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
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