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View Diary: Corporations are NOT People: Support my Constitutional Amendment to Repeal Citizens United (196 comments)

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  •  Justice Stevens' (7+ / 0-)

    dissent acknowledged the fact of legal personhood, just not the consequences the majority drew from it.  If you don't have the text of the amendment, it's hard to take seriously the proposal or determine whether language is accurate.

    It seems a money-as-speech amendment would make more sense -- go back to Buckley v. Valeo, not just the outrage of the week.

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:04:12 PM PST

    •  I think it depends (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J, Odysseus

      on whether you solely are troubled by corporate personhood in regards to "speech" issues or if you think it extends beyond that.

      I tend towards the latter -- whittle corporate definitions down to the bare minimum personal indemnification -- and force congress to grant statutory additions from there.

      I think the amendment is pretty strong -- it basically eliminates the entire underpinning that goes back to Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific Railroad.

      It doesn't prevent mere legislative act from extending any equal protections -- but it does force legislatures to actually specifically grant those protections (and take them away, merely by statute).

      I think that's a perfectly fine and good idea... Strip it down to the minimum and we'll have a national discussion, case-by-case, on what protections a corporation is entitled.

      I signed... I think I could support this language.

      Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

      by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:17:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i replied separately to that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, gecko

        the santa clara citation is off.  

        i'd worry this amendment actually limits the ability of corporations to sue and, more importantly, be sued.  limiting it to indemnification is just not feasible.  Once the liability shield is a separate entity, it has to be treated like one, so it necessarily takes on other attributes of "personhood," like having interests that are not merely coextensive with managers or single shareholders.  Ironically, using a corporation solely to shield liabilities can wind up in the corporate veil being disregarded.  

        There seems to be a fairly sound argument for a uniform federal corporate law, though.  In some respects, the prominence of Delaware means we have one.  Delaware law is a little bit too pro manager, but that means in some cases corporations do not simply have to be managed for short-term profit extraction.  Executives can knowingly lose money in the short term if there's a plausible business justification.  You'd never get a green energy start up, otherwise.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:25:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, sure -- go back to Dartmouth (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, raincrow

          Fine - I still maintain it should all be ripped up and start from scratch.

          I'm most certainly not a wild-eyed anti-capitalist... I'm not looking to eliminate corporations...

          I'm just saying that CU was just another step down a path started a long time ago -- and I think we need to clear that path and start at the beginning.

          When I say beginning - I'm not even talking about beginnings in the US - I'm talking about the very basic foundation of when the whole concept was devised and 'granted'.

          I have no problem with using what we've learned as a species in the intervening centuries -- but for example...

          Why should a "corporation" enjoy protections against say -- "unreasonable search and seizure"?   I can buy prohibitions on seizure (though not at the Dartmouth level or the same level enjoyed by individuals) -- but search?

          What's the argument there?  If a law enforcement entity -- be it the police, the SEC, the FBI, or whomever -- investigates a company for some crime... well... I honestly don't have a problem with granting them more investigative leeway than they would have in conducting a search against an individual.

          If the SEC thinks you're not on the up-and-up, I'm OK with eliminating hoops to get a warrant, etc...  

          Again - it all comes back to specifically granting those rights on a case-by-case basis.  In most cases, I'd be OK with weakened protections... I just don't like them being sort of magically conferred because SCOTUS has made some bad calls over the centuries.

          Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

          by zonk on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 12:40:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Corporations have no privacy. (0+ / 0-)

            They are chartered by the state.  There is an implicit subpoena power there.  All corporate acts can be investigated straightforwardly.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 01:11:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not so. The FBI can't just raid mosques; (0+ / 0-)

              it needs probable cause and a warrant. (a mosque, of course, is a religious corporation)

              •  "Should" is different than "is". (0+ / 0-)

                You may be correctly describing the law on the books.  You are most certainly not describing something that must be.

                We could eliminate all corporations tomorrow.  Go back to an economy where explicit partnerships and contracts are the basis for business.  Copyright assignment by durable power of attorney.

                The basis for requiring a warrant would then be the 4th amendment as applied to the owner and renter, not to the "religious corporation".

                Corporations are nothing more than a legal shorthand.  A convenient hitching post for contracts and some other artifacts.  They have no "rights".

                -7.75 -4.67

                "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

                There are no Christians in foxholes.

                by Odysseus on Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 11:35:32 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  having just read a description (0+ / 0-)

            of Dartmouth, i'm inclined to think that the Contracts clause needs to be modified prior to any other amendment succeeding.

            blink-- pale cold

            by zedaker on Thu Nov 17, 2011 at 04:29:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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