February 29, 2012
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9005, we have reviewed the
proposed constitutional initiative related to corporate rights in
California (A.G. File No. 12‑0003).
The United States and California Constitutions contain provisions
prohibiting governments from making laws that suppress free speech or
limit certain other rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that some
rights granted to people under the U.S. Constitution (for example,
freedom of speech) extend to corporations. Under the U.S. Constitution,
states may not pass laws that limit the rights granted under the U.S.
The measure amends the California Constitution to specify that “a
corporation is not a person, and corporations are not due constitutional
rights which human beings are naturally due.” This provision eliminates
corporate constitutional rights that stem from their being treated like
a person under the California, but not U.S., Constitution.
The fiscal effect of this change is difficult to determine, as it
would depend on subsequent interpretation by the courts. Under current
law, however, all or most rights that corporations have under the
California Constitution also are guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.
Thus, the fiscal effect of this measure probably would not be
Fiscal Summary. This measure would have the
following fiscal impact:
- Probably no significant fiscal effect on state or local
Return to Propositions
Return to Legislative Analyst's Office Home Page