National Community Rights Amendment
Need for a Federal Amendment: Without a federally protected right of local, community self-government, rights-based laws adopted at the local and the state level can be overturned by preemptive federal laws and by federally-anchored corporate constitutional “rights.” Although the adoption of a federal constitutional amendment is still many years away, finalization of this amendment language allows the Community Rights Networks (CRN’s) to “frame” the conversation about the need for a federal amendment, and to capture support from both local and state rights-based organizing.
SECTION. 1. All political power is inherent in the people, all government of right originates from the people, and the people have the right to alter, reform, or abolish their governmental system whenever they deem it necessary to protect their liberty and well-being; therefore, the people of the United States possess an inherent and inalienable right of local, community self-government in each county, city, town, township, village, parish, and borough.
SECTION. 2. That right shall include the power of the people, and the power of their governments, to enact and enforce local laws that protect health, safety, and welfare by recognizing or establishing rights of natural persons, their local communities, and Nature; and by securing those rights using prohibitions and other means deemed necessary by the community, including measures to establish, define, alter, or eliminate competing rights, powers, privileges, immunities, or duties of corporations and other business entities operating, or seeking to operate, in the community.
SECTION. 3. Local laws adopted pursuant to section 2 shall not be subject to preemption or nullification by international law, federal law, or state law if those local laws do not restrict fundamental rights of natural persons, their local communities, or Nature secured by local, state, or federal constitutions, or by international law; and if those local laws do not weaken protections for natural persons, their local communities, or Nature provided by state, federal, or international law.
PLAIN ENGLISH VERSION
New 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Recognizing a Federal Constitutional Right of Local, Community Self-Government.
Section 1 provides a broad declaration of the right of local, community self-government and transforms the core principle of the Declaration of Independence into binding, constitutional law. That core principle of the Declaration is the right to alter, amend, or abolish current systems of government if they are failing to protect the liberty or well-being of the people who live within communities served by those governments. Currently, under existing law, the Declaration of Independence is not viewed as binding or enforceable.
Section 2 provides that the broad right established by the first section can be implemented through the adoption of municipal laws at the community level, by either the people of those communities or by their local governments. To be an exercise of that broad right, the laws must:
Recognize or establish rights for individual people, the community as a whole, or for Nature and ecosystems; and
Prohibit activities or projects that would violate those rights.
Those laws may also limit corporate powers and “rights” as necessary to allow the implementation and enforcement of the rights and prohibitions contained within the local law. The definition of “corporation” within this section includes all business entities.
Section 3. Protects local laws drafted in accordance with section 2 from being overridden by state, federal, or international law; and protects local laws drafted in accordance with section 2 from being overturned through the use of federal constitutional “rights”; BUT ONLY if the local laws:
Do not attempt to restrict fundamental constitutional rights as recognized by the state and federal constitution (or international law), for rights belonging to natural persons, their communities, or to Nature; and those local laws
Do not attempt to weaken statutory protections for natural persons, their communities, or Nature, as recognized by state, federal, or international law.