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View Diary: How long will it be Before Corporations get the Right To Vote? (37 comments)

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  •  If they got only one vote each (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, marina

    The logic is worth looking at.

    If the corporation gets the right to vote then the individuals inside the corporation should give up one vote because the corporation is made up of its members.

    Charming illustration:

    Caricature of John D. Rockefeller holding White House and President McKinley in the palm of his hand; Capitol and Treasury Dept. in background as "Standard Oil Refinery".

    It's too late at night to provide everything but if you haven't read Thom Hartmann on Corporate Personhood, you haven't lived. Treat yourself.

    ~~CORPORATE PERSONHOOD. Thom Hartmann. Snippet:
    Excerpt from interview on one of my absolute favorite websites,  
    . . . . . the railroads began to try to influence or corrupt government to enhance their own power and profits.

    But government fought back. When Santa Clara County sued the Southern Pacific Railroad, that was the beginning of the end. It was actually a tax case, about whether the railroad had to pay property tax on the fence posts it owned along the right-of-way of its railroad through Santa Clara County, on the terms of the County's assessor or the State of California's assessor. The railroad argued that by having different tax rates in different states, they were being discriminated against under the 14th Amendment. This was, by the way, an argument the railroads had brought before the Supreme Court many times. It had always previously been rebuffed, sometimes in strong terms.

    For example, in 1873, one of the first Supreme Court rulings on the Fourteenth Amendment, which had passed only five years earlier, Justice Samuel F. Miller minced no words in chastising the railroads for trying to claim the rights of human beings.
    The fourteenth amendment?s "one pervading purpose," he wrote in the majority opinion, "was the freedom of the slave race, the security and firm establishment of that freedom, and the protection of the newly-made freeman and citizen from the oppression of those who had formerly exercised unlimited dominion over him."

    But in the 1886 case, we are told by over a hundred years' worth of history books and law books, the Supreme Court decided that corporations were, in fact, persons, and entitled to human rights, including the right of equal protection under the law -- freedom from discrimination.

    What was really amazing to me was that when I went down to the old Vermont State Supreme Court law library here in Vermont, and read an original copy of the Court's proceedings in the 1886 "Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad" case, the Justices actually said no such thing. In fact, the decision says, at its end, that because they could find a California state law that covered the case "it is not necessary to consider any other questions" such as the constitutionality of the railroad's claim to personhood.

    But in the headnote to the case -- a commentary written by the clerk, which is NOT legally binding, it's just a commentary to help out law students and whatnot, summarizing the case -- the Court's clerk wrote: "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."

    That discovery -- that we'd been operating for over 100 years on an incorrect headnote -- led me to discover that the clerk, J.C. Bancroft Davis, was a former corrupt official of the U.S. Grant administration and the former president of a railroad, and in collusion with another corrupt Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Field, who had been told by the railroads that if they'd help him get this through they'd sponsor him for the presidency.

    I later discovered that the folks who run POCLAD -- the Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy -- had already figured this out, and that there had been an obscure article written about it in the 1960s in the Vanderbilt Law Review, but it was, for me, like running down a detective mystery. So that was when the foundations for corporate power were laid in the United States, and they were laid on the basis of a lie.
    Unequal protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights, by Thom Hartmann  

    Thom Hartmann bio:

    [I've met Thom Hartmann and I believe he'd say OK to this large a snippet from an interview the whole of which everyone should read. Really Important Topic!!]

    His books are very rich and satisfying, too.

    Thom Hartman. End Corporate Personhood/What Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Have in Common:

    Movement to Abolish Corporate Personhood:


    "Not One Drop" Riki Ott, PhD. marine toxicologist, community activist, and former commercial salmon "fisherm'am". Discusses her Alaska community fighting Exxon and working to heal themselves. Then she does a brilliant outline of how to take back our democracy through "Ultimate Civics" including the movement to stop Corporate Personhood.

    Dr. Ott explains that at the founding of America we made the mistake of letting some people be property. In 1886 Supreme Court let some property become people when corporations were granted Personhood. Americans fixed the founding fathers error and now it is time to fix the Corporate Personhood error and let people be people. Ultimate Civics.

    Dr. Ott's book, "Not One Drop"


    •  Yes, I have written about that story (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, a2nite

      of the headnote and the hyper-activist court, and its relation to other Supreme Court decisions, though not Hartmann's take on it, which I am glad to know about.

      The Constitution as Catch-22

      Worse than the Dred Scott decision

      A Corporate Emancipation Proclamation

      Morrison Waite, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, said before oral arguments began,
         The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:50:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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