Saturday, January 14, 2012

Support the Proposed Amendment that Would ABOLISH 'Corporate Personhood'

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

I fully support a movement to enact a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution that rejects and will undo the recent SCOTUS decision 'creating people' of mere 'legal abstractions'. The idea that corporations ---mere legal abstractions --are people is insidious and endangers American Democracy. While 'real people' are held to the letter of the law and often imprisoned for wrong doing, the very purpose of 'corporate personhood' has had the effect, in practice, of placing 'corporations' above-the-law.

A proposed amendment would reverse the decision of the high court with respect to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-to-4 vote, SCOTUS 'created' real people of mere corporations declaring that corporations have, among every Constitutional right, a right of 'free speech' under the First Amendment. It was declared that the government may not 'impose restrictions' on the political speech that corporations may indulge. As a result, corporations and other special interest groups are now given license to spend "unlimited amounts of money on elections." It was a green light to corporations: buy and/or support any candidate with as much money as you want to spend! The decision could not have been a bigger afront to Democracy, i.e, government of the people. Free speech is a right of people as affirmed by our founders. That corporations may now claim that right is simply fascism. Pure and simple!

The ORIGIN of 'corporate personhood' is found in an informal note from a CLERK: "The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Prior to this mere clerk's mere note, NO ONE had believed that the 14th amendment applied to anyone but real people. Nor does it now! Scalia's court blew it again! If Scalia had a last remaining vestige of conscience, he would confess that he 1) blew it; 2) admit that he is a bought and paid for tool; 3) RESIGN!

6 comments:

Len Hart said...

Joseph Rank comments (via email)

"Thing is, corporations have always found ways to Influence peddle and spread money to subvert democracy. They had to do it surreptitiously by buying up media outlets and other 'news' sources. It's why Fox Noise is nothing but a propaganda arm for the reactionary agenda."

I completely agree!

Anonymous said...

Legitimacy is a big deal to these lying bastards.I make points with my ever shrinking circle of acquaintances by reminding them that nothing Hitler did was against the laws of the Reich.
The patina of legality seems sufficient to dispel any lingering unease about the ethics of what they do- though I doubt that they have any conscience at all, being sociopaths, it's PR for the mob.
Don Smith

LarryE said...

Prior to this mere clerk's mere note, NO ONE had believed that the 14th amendment applied to anyone but real people.

Not exactly, although the underlying point is valid. The Court "avoided" the Constitutional question because it was regarded as unnecessary; it was thought obvious that the parties in the case were "persons" within the meaning of the 14th Amendment - put more directly, what the Court thought "obvious" was that corporations deserved due process, something I doubt anyone questioned.

The thing is, that is one hell of a long way from saying "corporations are people" or deserve all (or indeed any) of the other rights of real people. And you are quite right that it was that note, which has no legal standing, that has been twisted into the service of that inanity, particularly since the notion of corporate "personhood" appears nowhere in the decision.

Len Hart said...

Don said...

...nothing Hitler did was against the laws of the Reich.

Thanks for commenting, Don. Good to see you again. You're are absolutely correct though Hitler, broke some laws 'enroute' to his 'Third Reich'. The 'Beer Hall Putsch' comes to mind. As I recall, he did some time for that one and while in the lock-up, wrote "Mein Kampf'. But --of course --your point is true and valid. His 'Third Reich' made his crap 'legal'. And the analogy to 'Citizens United' is right on the money. I think you have described a defining characteristic of tyranny.

Len Hart said...

LarryE said:

The Court "avoided" the Constitutional question because it was regarded as unnecessary; it was thought obvious that the parties in the case were "persons" within the meaning of the 14th Amendment - put more directly, what the Court thought "obvious" was that corporations deserved due process, something I doubt anyone questioned.

You were doing fine until you got to the second part of your post: "...what the court though 'obvious' was that corporations deserved due process, something I doubt anyone questioned!"

I don't believe that was the case. Nor is there any evidence that 'corporate personhood' was not questioned.

Those believing otherwise (as you do) have a burden of proof; i.e, PROVE to me that no one questioned it. Indeed, prove to me that it was even brought up. Every other 'right' enumerated in the 'Bill of Rights' applies to people ---REAL people! Why would the founders extend to rights of 'personhood' to 'legal abstractions' which require paper work be filed with a state. Not even a sovereign nation of itself but a MERE state!

I have a better explanation that is consistent with Occam's Razor and that is: no one brought it up (as you maintain) not because they thought 'corporations were people' but because they believed NO ONE was stupid enough to believe it.

The fact is 'states' --not the U.S. --CREATE 'corporations'. They are not the product of divine creation as some believe is the case with people. But even the 'atheist' which most likely believes in Darwinian evolution could believe for a minute that there is ANY valid analogy whatsoever, no IDENTITY to be found with respect to 'real and biological persons' and 'coroporations' i.e, mere legal abstractions.

Implicit in the above is the FACT: real persons are biological --either the product of Darwinian evolution OR (if you are religiously inclined) the product of divine creation. By definition, therefore, 'corporations' are no more 'people' than are paintings, books, bylaws of clubs/fraternities et al NONE of which are considered to be PERSONS by sane people.

Bottom line: the SCOTUS decision is 1) insane if not stupid 1)false if not disingenuous; 3) WRONG if not deliberately wrong-headed.

MarkH said...

Our current Supreme Court's conservative justices are a real embarrassment. I believe no adults today could have believed they would have to live through such a Court the way Americand did several times in the past. It only shows that the politics of a given time have profound consequences and the Court is affected. It's not a pure ideal place occupied by saints.