Friday, April 12, 2024

Constitutional amendments should not be taken lightly. When deciding how to vote on Question 6, a public policy question about what rights the Constitution grants to corporations, a person must consider whether the benefit of giving individual citizens a greater voice in government outweighs any negative consequences that could result from loosening Constitutional protections.

Some people are prone to a certain mythologizing when it comes to constitutional rights, believing that such rights are absolute and beyond question. In reality, the Constitution is an evolving document, albeit slowly, and rights are historically subject to certain tests. When the government has a compelling interest to place limits on some rights, it can and should do so.

The intent of Question 6 is to limit Constitutional protections of corporations, not those of individuals.

The changes to the Constitution that Question 6 advocates address a compelling need to rein in a corporate sector that has, over time, abused the Constitutional protections that the Supreme Court has granted. It recommends empowering the states and Congress to place limits on campaign expenditures, which may be the only likely way to undo the effects of the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

A “Yes” vote on Question 6 aims to correct a situation that the authors of the Constitution could not have envisioned. It is a judicious approach to ensuring that our Constitution will continue to serve the best interests of the nation.

Fred Hewett, 127 Appleton St.