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View Diary: Bernie Sanders Introduces The "Corporations are not People" Amendment (193 comments)

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  •  Two problems with what you said (2+ / 0-)
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    johnny wurster, VClib

    First, the "money is speech" think did not come out of CU.  The holding you are talking about was from Buckley v. Valeo, a 1976 SCOTUS case.

    Second, of course, CU did not hold that corporations are people, as I and many others here have repeatedly explained.  

    This is a really, really bad attempt to try to regulate corporate expenditures in federal elections.  

    •  Well, then, what is the right way? (2+ / 0-)
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      Siri, elwior

      There has been discussion (but no action) about at least requiring disclosure of corporate contributions. But IMO something stronger is needed.

    •  Could you post a link to where you've repeatedly (1+ / 0-)
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      Siri

      explained?  I'm actually quite curious.  I've seen you repeat this assertion that Citizens United did not hold that corporations are people, but I've never seen you post any actual explanation for that assertion, only ever a blanket statement.  I've searched your comments and diary history.

      I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd be interested in a fuller explanation for why Sen. Sanders, and everyone else who seems to believe that Citizens United does have some bearing on corporate personhood is incorrect.  I've seen you assert that Citizens United only dealt with restrictions on speech, but it seems to me that's simply begging the question.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:54:24 PM PST

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      •  sneakers - if you read the majority opinion (5+ / 0-)

        you will note the the Justices took great pains to differentiate between "natural persons" and the rights of "associations of people" such as unions and corporations. CU was about the limitations of Congress to legislate under the First Amendment, the entire concept of corporate personhood or holding that corporations are people were not even elements of the case. The Court held that as it relates to independent expenditures the source of the speech could not be restricted. Note that the AFL-CIO and ACLU both filed amicus briefs in support of the majority in this case. Had the Court wanted to claim that corporations had the same political speech rights as "natural persons"  it would have struck down the 1907 Tillman Act that prohibits ANY contribution by corporations to the campaign of any candidate for federal office.  

        One of the challenges we have here at DKOS is that with the exception of Adam B, and a few others, all of the diaries and 95% of the comments about CU have profound errors regardng the elements of the case, and the opinion. This has led to an unfortunate echo chamber of misinformation.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 02:59:24 AM PST

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        •  I will read it (3+ / 0-)
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          AaronInSanDiego, Siri, VClib

          Thank you - I do appreciate your response.  I'm obviously not a lawyer.  Nonetheless, I think this is helpful.  So if I understand you correctly, you're saying that even if corporations were somehow declared not to be persons, CU would still apply because the speech is still out there.  It doesn't matter whether the speech comes from a person or anything else, the fact that it is speech means that the government is limited in its ability to regulate it.  

          So if that's right, I suppose the issue for me is not corporate personhood per se, but rather the ability of certain actors to have a much greater capacity for speech than others.  More to the point, the degree to which that difference limits the capacity of large numbers of people to speak at all.  I'm not sure, though, how to address that if the government is constitutionally prohibited from differentiating the source of speech.    

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:40:53 AM PST

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          •  sneakers - YOU GOT IT! (1+ / 0-)
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            sneakers563

            You now understand CU better than 95% of the people at DKOS. Your concerns are also very well founded. Even those lawyers and constitutional scholars, including our own Adam B and Johnathan Turley,  who felt the SCOTUS was right on the law, are troubled by the same issues.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:28:32 PM PST

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      •  Why not try to read the opinion? (2+ / 0-)
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        coffeetalk, VClib

        It's in black and white right in there.

        •  I take your point (2+ / 0-)
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          johnny wurster, Siri

          But I'm also not a lawyer.  I just think that many people would appreciate it if someone would either post or link to a diary with a clear explanation in layman's terms for why CU does not involve corporate personhood.  Perhaps there have been such diaries.  I haven't seen them.  All I ever see are people saying that this and that senator, representative, or diarist are wrong without any explanation.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:47:49 AM PST

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