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View Diary: A Constitutional Amendment for "The People" (18 comments)

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  •  and don't specify species. (2+ / 0-)
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    Judge Moonbox, chipoliwog

    1. The rights, privileges, responsibilities and immunities enumerated by or derived from the U.S. Constitution, are reserved for living biological persons.

    2. Artificial legal constructs such as corporations do not and are not intended to possess inherent rights reserved for the people.  The rights accorded to such entities are for limited purposes as Congress and the States may from time to time delineate but must never infringe on the inherent rights of persons.

    The problem is that the second sentence of (2) creates a loophole big enough to drive a truck through, and that will be taken advantage of.  So that also needs to be revised.  

    •  That would never fly, because we want (1+ / 0-)
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      corps to have rights.  People like that their churches have the right to buy bibles, that mosques can assert 4th amendment rights, and that newspapers have free speech.

      Any amendment would have to be narrowly tailored to the political speech context to have even the dimmest chance of garnering enough support to become an amendment.

      •  in more detail: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox

        Incorporated entities should have the rights to:

        a)  Buy, lease, rent, own, and sell property.

        b)  Hire employees and contractors who are "freely consenting" labor as distinct from "un-free" (slave) labor.   Specifying "freely consenting" is important since it kills the loophole to the 13th amendment whereby private sector prisons become a de-facto slavery industry.  

        c)  Sue and be sued in their own name.

        The mosque has the right to buy or rent its land and buildings, copies of the Holy Qur'an, and so on, and to hire the Imam, a secretary, et. al. and pay their salaries and wages.  

        The newspaper has the right to buy or rent its land and buildings, etc., and hire the publisher, editor, et. al. and pay their salaries and wages.  

        The mosque as a legal entity does not have a right to freedom of religion: its Imam and its congregation have the right to freedom of religion (and assembly).

        The newspaper as a legal entity does not have a right to freedom of speech: its publisher and editor (and by extension their reporters and other writers) have the right to freedom of speech.

        Here it's important to differentiate between the rights of individual persons and groups of persons, and the rights of the legal entity in question.  The rights inhere in the individual persons, and in their voluntary association for purposes of peaceable assembly.  

        •  So under a, b, and c, religious groups (0+ / 0-)

          couldn't spend money to advertise their beliefs.  I'm all for that, but there's not a chance in the fucking world that even a small minority would sign on to it.

          •  OK, i missed a few: (0+ / 0-)

            I'm posting while working desk duty & programming clients' PBX settings by remote (telecommuting).

            OK, add the following:

            d)  Commercial speech, meaning advertising.  (Commercial speech is regulated, for example as to fraudulent and misleading advertising.)

            And in reply to your item about insurance policies, those are "products" or "property" per (a).  

            All those "odd things" can be accommodated without creating the monstrosity that presently exists.  

          •  one more thing about commercial speech: (1+ / 0-)
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            Clearly a house of worship can advertise in the same manner that any other entity can advertise, for example a local restaurant.  

            Its owners, employees, and members can also engage in religious speech for example proselytizing, publicly professing their beliefs, etc.  

            What houses of worship can't do, if they wish to retain their tax exempt status, is promote candidates for public office.  And that restriction, along with restrictions on spending money for issue advocacy before the electorate or legislature, should also be placed upon all "legal entities" that are distinct from individual persons.  

            If Mark Zuckerberg wants to fly his private jet to DC to go 'round and lobby Congress to allow Facebook to secretly trigger its users webcams, he's welcome to do that.  The way I'd write the law, he couldn't use Facebook corporate funds for those purposes, nor could he hire "proxies" (lobbyists) to do it for him any more than he could hire someone to cast his ballot on election day.  

        •  Sounds like they couldn't buy insurance policies, (0+ / 0-)

          either, since that doesn't fit under any of your permitted powers.  I'm sure a lot of odd things like that wouldn't fit under your 3 headings.

      •  Those rights can be specified by Congress (0+ / 0-)

        But they should never presume to have the right of free speech or the ability to influence elections.

        --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

        by chipoliwog on Tue May 17, 2011 at 11:17:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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