Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How Corporations Became People (Or Did They?)

A brief clear video summary first.

What’s interesting is that the crucial decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific never stated that the corporation was a person entitled to rights of personhood.

How it became the invalid cornerstone for every corporate personhood claim since is a mystery. Either the judge erred and prejudged the case or the clerk assigned to summarize the decision invented corporate personhood. Was he in the employ of the railroad? This excellent article about the case sorts out the case and finds nothing written in the decision supporting corporate personhood, an issue that wasn’t even properly argued. Was this creation of corporate “persons” done out of bias or error or conflict of interest?

The point is all the subsequent law saying that corporations are persons is based upon a fiction. And corporations have become "super persons" as a result, with rights larger than other citizens. Despite the fact they cannot be jailed, cannot be poisoned by their malfeasance or that of other corporate “persons”, cannot be killed except by their own hand, and are granted extraordinary methods of evading the obligations and hazards that living, breathing persons cannot evade. Today they represent a special class of protected super persons, more powerful than the rest of us and held to fewer obligations. A class virtually above the law. A class, as we see in the case of their proxies in the lobbying group ALEC, that writes the laws the rest of us must live under.

And the point is it was never made law by the Constitution or by Congress or by the courts. Is it possible to undo something that was never done in the first place?

One thing we can do is amend the Constitution. Join the movement. Join and right this wrong.

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