Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A DEMOCRATIC ROLE MODEL: Blaine Township's Corporate Rights Ordinance

An Ordinance by the Second Class Township of Blaine Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, Eliminating Legal Powers and Privileges from Corporations Doing Business Within Blaine Township to
Vindicate the Right to Democratic Self-Governance



Ordinance No. _______ of 2006


Section 1. Name. The name of this Ordinance shall be the “Blaine Township Democratic Self-Government and Local Control Ordinance.”


Section 2. Authority. This Ordinance is adopted and enacted pursuant to the inherent authority of the residents of Blaine Township to self-government, and to authority granted to Blaine Township by all relevant state and federal Constitutions and laws, including, but not limited to, the following:

The Declaration of Independence, which declares that the people of Blaine Township are born with “certain unalienable rights” and that governments are instituted among people to secure those rights;

The Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, which declares that “all power is inherent in the people and all free governments are instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness;”

The Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 1, Section 26, which declares that “neither the Commonwealth nor any political subdivision thereof shall deny to any person the enjoyment of any civil right;”

The provisions of The Second Class Township Code, as codified at 53 P.S. § 65101 et seq., which authorizes the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township to provide for the protection and preservation of natural and human resources, to promote, protect, and facilitate public health, safety, and general welfare, and to preserve and protect farmland, woodland, and the recreational uses of land within the Township;

The provisions of The Second Class Township Code, Article XV, as codified at 53 P.S. § 66506, which authorizes the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township to enact ordinances necessary for the proper management, care, and control of the township and its finances and the maintenance of peace, good government, health, and welfare of the township and its citizens, trade, commerce, and manufacturers;

The provisions of The Second Class Township Code, Article XV, as codified at 53 P.S. § 66527, which empowers the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township to adopt ordinances to secure the safety of persons or property within the township; and

The provisions of The Second Class Township Code, Article XV, as codified at 53 P.S. § 66529, which empowers the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township to prohibit nuisances on private and public property and the carrying on of any offensive manufacture or business.


Section 3. Findings and General Purpose. The Blaine Township Board of Supervisors recognizes that:

(1) A corporation is a legal fiction created and operated by the express permission of the people of Blaine Township as citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;

(2) Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by unelected Supreme Court justices to include corporations in the term “persons” has long denied the peoples’ exercise of rights by endowing corporations with constitutional privileges intended solely to protect the citizens of the United States or natural persons within its borders. Enforcement of those corporate “rights” by courts and governments has long wrought havoc on the peoples’ democratic process;

(3) Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by Supreme Court justices to afford corporations the protections of the Commerce Clause (Article I, §8 of the Constitution of the United States) and the Contracts Clause (Article I, §10 of the Constitution of the United States) has prevented communities and governments from securing the health, safety, welfare, and rights of citizens and natural persons;

(4) This illegitimate judicial bestowal of civil and political rights upon corporations prevents the administration of laws within Blaine Township and usurps basic human and constitutional rights guaranteed to the people of Blaine Township;

(5) The illegitimate judicial designation of corporations as “persons” and the bestowal of constitutional rights upon corporations empowers corporations to sue municipal governments for adopting laws that violate corporate “rights”;

(6) The illegitimate judicial designation of corporations as “persons” requires that municipal governments recognize corporations as legitimate participants in public hearings, zoning hearing board appeals, and other governmental matters in Blaine Township;

(7) The illegitimate judicial designation of corporations as “persons” gives corporations First Amendment rights and unfettered access to elections. Those powers enable corporations to deny outright peoples’ First Amendment rights to debate and establish public policy on important issues;

(8) Buttressed by those constitutional rights, corporate wealth enables corporations – and the few who run corporations - to wield the coercive force of law to overpower citizens and communities, thus denying the peoples’ exercise of their constitutional rights;

(9) Democracy means government by the majority, with citizen rights secured to all. Only citizens of Blaine Township should be able to participate in the democratic process in Blaine Township and enjoy a republican form of government therein;

(10) Usurpation of the democratic process by corporations – and the few who run them - denies the rights of human persons to participate in their democracy in Blaine Township and enjoy a republican form of government therein;

(11) The ability of citizens of Blaine Township to adopt laws to protect the health, safety, and welfare of township residents has been denied by the wielding of constitutional “rights” by corporations. The ability of the Blaine Township Board of Supervisors to guarantee to residents a republican form of governance has been, and will be, denied by the wielding of constitutional “rights” by corporations.


Section 4. Specific Purpose. The specific purpose of this Ordinance is to guarantee to the residents of Blaine Township their right to a republican form of governance by refusing to recognize the purported constitutional rights of corporations. By doing so, the Board of Supervisors seeks to remedy current and future harms that corporations have caused - and will continue to cause - to the people of Blaine Township by the exercise of such “rights.”


Section 5. Statement of Law. Corporations shall not be considered to be “persons” protected by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within the Second Class Township of Blaine, Washington County, Pennsylvania.


Section 6. Statement of Law. Within Blaine Township, corporations shall not be “persons” under the United States or Pennsylvania Constitutions, or under the laws of the United States, Pennsylvania, or Blaine Township, and so shall not have the rights of persons under those constitutions and laws. In addition, within the Township of Blaine, no corporation shall be afforded the privileges, powers, and protections of the Contracts Clause or Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, or of similar provisions from the Pennsylvania Constitution.


Section 7. People’s Right to Self-Governance and Right of Separation. The foundation for the making and adoption of this law is the people’s fundamental and inalienable right to govern themselves, and thereby secure our rights to life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. Any attempts to use county, state, or federal levels of government – judicial, legislative, or executive - to preempt, amend, alter, or overturn this Ordinance or parts of this Ordinance, or to intimidate the people of Blaine Township or their elected officials, shall require the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township to hold public meetings that explore the adoption of other measures that expand local control and the ability of residents to protect their fundamental and inalienable right to self-government. Such consideration may include actions to separate the municipality from the other levels of government used to preempt, amend, alter, or overturn the provisions of this Ordinance or other levels of government used to intimidate the people of Blaine Township or their elected officials.


Section 8. Severability. The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any court of competent jurisdiction decides that any section, clause, sentence, part, or provision of this Ordinance is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect, impair, or invalidate any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts, or provisions of the Ordinance. The Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township hereby declares that in the event of such a decision, and the determination that the court’s ruling is legitimate, it would have enacted this Ordinance even without the section, clause, sentence, part, or provision that the court decides is illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional.


Section 9. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall take effect five days after enactment by the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township.


Section 10. Repealer. All inconsistent provisions of prior Ordinances adopted by the Township of Blaine are hereby repealed, but only to the extent necessary to remedy the inconsistency.



ENACTED AND ORDAINED this ___ day of __________, 2006, by the Board of Supervisors of Blaine Township, Washington County.


By:

______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________



Attest:

____________________________

http://www.celdf.org/Ordinances/BlaineTownshipCorporateRightsOrdinance/tabid/386/Default.aspx

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!

1 comment:

  1. This story is about home rule. This story is about a community taking back control of their lives and their community. This is about not allowing a corporation to come in and ruin their lives and their homes. This is about eminent domain. This is about not having any say in what goes on in your town, your home, even within your own family. These brave people are battling to save their homes, their health, their families. And maybe they will win. Maybe not. At least they are trying. It could be anything; coal, oil, gas, transmission lines, roads, whatever. They are standing up for their rights to have a say in what happens in their community.
    Annie

    ReplyDelete

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