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View Diary: What's going on with FISA and the filibuster? (234 comments)

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  •  Telecomm (0+ / 0-)

    I am amazed at the idea that corporations should be the ones to make a decision on what is legal and what is not.  I am particularly amazed that dailykos would be so supportive of passing that kind of power over to the "globalizing Corporations".  Am I to assume that the most of you would be interested in corporations making a decision not to support HUD housing because it violates the 14th amendment?  Or not supporting any of the gun laws because they violate the 2nd amendment?  Is every corporate entity entitled to not perform under contract if they think the contract violates some federal law or another?  

    Be careful what you ask for.

    •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

      Everyone, including corporations, is liable for the lawfulness of their own actions. You don't get to break the law because someone else says its okay.

      Is every corporate entity entitled to not perform under contract if they think the contract violates some federal law or another?

      Um, YAH. Not just entitled, but required.

      Terrorists can attack freedom, but only Congress can destroy it.

      by romulusnr on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 01:44:18 PM PST

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    •  Well, yes. (4+ / 0-)

      No one can enter into a contract that violates the law.  That contract would be unenforceable.  That's why these corporations have zillions of their own, very-highly-paid lawyers: so that what they do is legal.

      And, to be clear, we're not talking about "making decisions about what is legal" here, in the sense that a judge makes such a decision.  We're talking about the duty of any citizen, corporate or individual, to know the law and obey it.

      Harry Reid: Traitor, Traitor, Bush Fellator.

      by Egypt Steve on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 01:45:27 PM PST

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    •  Each of the telecoms has high-paid lawyers (0+ / 0-)

      to tell them what is and is not legal.

      And Verizon's general counsel (and executive VP) is William Barr, formerly Bush I's AG, and an old CIA hand.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 02:05:48 PM PST

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    •  they can ask courts about it (0+ / 0-)

      To answer your basic question, yes, corporations (and all people in general) have an obligation not to enter into contracts that would violate the law, and not to carry them out if they find themselves in that position.

      It doesn't actually require willfully ignoring the federal government and seeing what happens though; a company that is being told as part of a contract to do something that it believes to be illegal can in many cases file for a declaratory judgment nullifying the contract. This in effect means that they ask the courts: we think this is illegal and therefore that we shouldn't have to do it; do you agree? If the courts rule that it was in fact legal, then they just go ahead and carry out whatever they were going to do after all, so no real harm. If not, then they've saved themselves from breaking the law, and the court formally releases them from their obligation.

      If they do actually end up doing something illegal, courts will also take into account whether they should have known it was illegal. Very technical violations of obscure laws will not generally receive as severe punishment (e.g. punitive damages) as egregious and obvious violations.

      "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

      by Delirium on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 04:43:16 PM PST

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