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  •  The consequences of Corporate Personhood... (24+ / 0-)

    ...are beyond Orwellian.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 10:35:18 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The obvious way to fight back (14+ / 0-)

      is to make them culpable for crimes as though they were human.

      Any corporation that enacts a hostile takeover of another corporation should be charged with murder and cannibalism.

    •  It has nothing to do with corporate personhood. (9+ / 0-)

      Read the Citizens United decision (pdf here).  The majority expressly state that a corporation is not a "person" but is an association of people (which is what it is).  

      It's more about the fact that the First Amendment is NOT a right given to "persons."  Unlike the 2nd and 5th Amendments, which are rights given to persons, the First Amendment is not a right given to persons, but is a limit on the power of government:  "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."  

      This notion that CU declared that corporations were "people" is a myth.  It is not found in that opinion.  

      •  it's a bastardization of that view (5+ / 0-)

        it turns a doctrine designed to insulate owners from liability -- defensibly so -- into one in which the owners have the right to spend corporate assets as they see fit.  If anything, by ignoring agency costs, it holds that corporations don't exist separately, but of and for senior management and majority shareholders.

        The personhood question the court DID address was whether the advantages in capital accumulation conferred on corporations by the liabiltiy shield justified greater restraints on independent candidate expenditures.  Stevens said yes, it did, and didn't get into the shibboleth about the Santa Clara RR case.  However, to say corporate personhood wasn't at issue is a bit misleading,  too.  It's about 'how' corporations should be people, as is Hobby Lobby.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 11:16:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  '...Some animals are more equal than others' (7+ / 0-)

          All people are equal in First Amendment rights, but thanks to Citizens United, the practical result is that some people (i.e., corporations) are more equal than others.

          •  Yeah, I think coffee talk is too formalistic (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Berkeley Fred, Tonedevil

            It is the case that it didn't say they're literally human beings, but it did say they could do directly what could only have been done with pacs, which had contribution limits, soothe effectis to confer first amendment right on corporations directly, which is really just giving the corporate managers a bigger megaphone.  (And query whether election expenditures should be speech.  Forget citizens u, overturn Buckley v Valeo)

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 02:26:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let me quote the exact words of the majority. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              xanthippe2, VClib
              This protection has been extended by explicit holdings to the context of political speech.  See, e.g., Button, 371 U.S., at 428-429, 83 S. Ct. 328, 9 L. Ed. 2d 405; Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U.S. 233, 244, 56 S. Ct. 444, 80 L. Ed. 660 (1936).  Under the rationale of these precedents,   political speech does not lose First Amendment protection "simply because its source is a corporation."  Bellotti, supra, at 784, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707; see Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. Public Util. Comm'n of Cal., 475 U.S. 1, 8, 106 S. Ct. 903, 89 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1986) (plurality opinion) ("The identity of the speaker is not decisive in determining whether speech is protected.    Corporations and other associations, like individuals, contribute to the 'discussion, debate, and the dissemination of information and ideas' that the First Amendment seeks to foster" (quoting Bellotti, 435 U.S., at 783, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707)).

              The Court has thus rejected the argument that political speech of corporations or other associations should be treated differently under the First Amendment simply because such associations are not "natural persons."  Id., at 776, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707; see id., at 780, n. 16, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707.  Cf. id., at 828, 98 S. Ct. 1407, 55 L. Ed. 2d 707 (Rehnquist, J., dissenting).

              Is quoting the express language of the majority opinion, where they say that corporations or other associations "are not natural persons" too formalistic?

              What the Court held is that the speech of a corporation or other association comes within the ambit of the First Amendment even though those are not "natural persons."  

              And now let me quote the holding:

              Due consideration leads to this conclusion:   Austin, 494 U.S. 652, 110 S. Ct. 1391, 108 L. Ed. 2d 652, should be and now is overruled.  We return to the principle established in Buckley and Bellotti that the Government may not suppress political speech on the   basis of the speaker's corporate identity.  No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.
              The holding is that even though corporations or other associations were NOT "natural persons," that was not justification for the Government to suppress their political speech (i.e., in that case, a political movie).  

              You can disagree with that holding -- a lot of people did.  And the dissent believed that the fact that they were corporations justified Government suppressing their political speech -- they relied on the inherent ability of Government to regulate corporations.

              But IN NO PART of the majority opinion did the majority state, or even imply, that corporations are persons.  The whole question was whether the fact that corporations are NOT persons meant that Congress could pass a law "abridging the freedom of speech" if it was the speech of corporations and other associations that were NOT persons.  That was the whole issue that the Court addressed.  

              •  How quoting language and foot stomping (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Capt Crunch, Tonedevil

                Refutes "too formalistic" escapes me.  I'm looking at the reasoning of the decision, and I didn't say what you suggest I did.  Disagree wit the "didn't imply."  It presumed corps have independent interests, and the cite to Belloti confirms it.  

                Citizens u has two main flaws, and creating corporate personhood isn't one of them.  It's misapplying the reasons for the doctrine.  First, embracing Buckley v Valeo and treating the actions at issue as speech.  second, utterly ignoring that corporations only speak thru their managers.  That second point is where the "are people" criticism comes in - it ignored the systematic advantages the corporate form confers and ignored agency costs.  but note that Mitt Romney was really saying that corporations are just the people associated with them.

                I'm sorry you fail to grasp subtlety.  

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 04:21:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  But unlike speech, religion is meaningless... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil

                Couldn't fit it all into the Subject line. But unlike speech, religious affiliation for a corporation creates problems on its own merits.

                Speech can be anything. If speech is to be free, it can be anything that is communicated from a speaker.

                The same can not be said of religion. In order for a body of "persons" to be able to practice a religion, it must be specified. As it is for churches and other religious institutions.

                Could it Catholic on Monday and Jewish Saturday? What legally, would stop it? What if a corporation claimed pantheism as its religious affiliation and claimed exemption under all religions?

                Is there any state or governmental agency that registers a corporations "religious identity or preference"? Under what guidelines does a body of persons even claim religious exemption?

                Corporations, by necessity and statute, are regulated by government. Therefore, it would seem to me that religious affiliation would then also need to be regulated by the state, and does that open up an enormous bucket of worms, for local, state, and the federal government?

                What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

                by equern on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 04:37:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  so you've moved on from defending murders... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Capt Crunch, Tonedevil

        ...to defending the CU decision?  Someone else already indicated why you're wrong on CU, so I won't bother.

        •  clarification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Matt Z

          you've moved on from defending murderers of innocent and unarmed black teenagers, to CU.  

        •  Sigh. More unfounded attacks. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, andalusi, xanthippe2

          Of course I did not "defend a murderer' -- unless you think that explaining the law is the same as "defending a murderer."

          And what I said is not "defending" the CU decision.  What I said is true about its reasoning.  If you want to criticize the majority decision in CU, -- and there's a lot of criticism out there -- you need to at least criticize it based on what it actually says, rather than some myth about what it says.

          So, go ahead -- show me where the majority says "corporations are people."    It does not.  It says corporations are associations of people (like clubs, or unions are associations of people).

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