Skip to main content

Well, this was some most excellent news today ...

Vermont Lawmakers Vote For Constitutional Amendment To Declare That Corporations Are Not People

by Chris Morran, -- April 19, 2012

Today, Vermont's state legislature became the latest to call for an amendment to the Constitution that would overturn the controversial court ruling and declare that "money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the U.S. Constitution."

"This resolution is a reaffirmation of the belief, shared by many Vermont communities, that corporations should not be allowed to engage in unlimited spending to unduly influence elections," said Shap Smith, Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives, which passed the measure by a 92-40 vote. The state senate had already passed the measure last week by a vote of 26 to 3.

With today's announcement, Vermont joins Hawaii and New Mexico in the growing grassroots movement to upend the 2010 decision. Similar measures are have made it through at least one legislative chamber in California, Alaska and Iowa.

I guess ALEC doesn't own a corporate steamroller in these states, eh?

With today's continuing Take-Back-America news in Vermont,

'Move to Amend' may need to update their progress map ...

Find Move to Amend near you

Resolutions & Ordinances

See below the map for a list of resolutions in progress and successfully passed. Please note that only resolutions that address corporate personhood are included. Move to Amend firmly believes that only an amendment that removes all corporate constitutional rights and money as speech will address the issues at hand [...]

Image Source:  Move to Amend  --   larger image  

In writing the dissent for the court's decision [Citizens United], Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote:
   “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their "personhood" often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of "We the People" by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

Well said, John Paul ... spoken like a true Patriot.

Move to Amend Petition

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
193,126 total signers,

so far and counting ...

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Dream Menders, Good News, and These Green Mountains.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (145+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontheleftcoast, One Pissed Off Liberal, randomfacts, G2geek, tonyahky, smiley7, blueoregon, Margd, jan4insight, zett, blueoasis, WheninRome, IndieGuy, johnny wurster, marleycat, Liberal Protestant, Railfan, Siri, a gilas girl, cai, terabytes, Creosote, northerntier, Angie in WA State, Ocelopotamus, elwior, radical simplicity, gizmo59, Glinda, thea lake, Rev Steve, Geenius at Wrok, ParkRanger, Hector Solon, jennifree2bme, sallystrutt, uciguy30, KayCeSF, theKgirls, WisVoter, reflectionsv37, Donkey Hotey, GeorgeXVIII, elengul, celdd, bythesea, muddy boots, MsGrin, wayoutinthestix, SallyCat, Oh Mary Oh, bnasley, grollen, karlpk, freesia, SanFernandoValleyMom, SoCalSal, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, ozsea1, remembrance, BeninSC, Simplify, Odysseus, Glen The Plumber, The Wizard, TX Freethinker, exterris, thomask, ogre, WisePiper, GayHillbilly, alizard, Rosaura, Kitty, dkmich, Shelley99, Burned, Grandma Susie, LynChi, jhop7, DamselleFly, WakeUpNeo, jcrit, Mosquito Pilot, apip0115, sodalis, lastlegslaststand, Showman, Floande, wagdog, glitterscale, p gorden lippy, RLF, beforedawn, ChemBob, MartyM, TexDem, ubertar, Missys Brother, Chi, I C Mainer, Pandoras Box, SmartRat, Wino, Leftcandid, jfromga, greenbastard, Cedwyn, poliwrangler, PBen, Youffraita, Olkate, dradams, prettygirlxoxoxo, Sychotic1, Shakludanto, Bill in Portland Maine, history first, davekro, Involuntary Exile, fixxit, petulans, redlum jak, opinionated, AnnieJo, surfbird007, MKSinSA, Wee Mama, AllanTBG, Alma, roses, trumpeter, Buckeye54, Liberal Granny, Matt Z, myrealname, boran2, a2nite, justme, davehouck, tegrat, drawingporno, science nerd, JDWolverton, jayden

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:41:05 PM PDT

  •  So are they formally calling for an Article V (20+ / 0-)

    convention? That's what "move to amend" sounds like to me. Because that's the only way the states have to change the Constitution without the Congress getting the ball rolling first.

    All my sig lines are hand-crafted by demented elves living in my skull.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:48:43 PM PDT

  •  it's all about the immortality. (23+ / 0-)

    Corporations can only die through the equivalent of traumatic accidents (something external clobbers them or eats them) or suicide (voluntary dissolution).   Absent either of those, they continue indefinitely.  

    Immortality is not a characteristic of persons.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:51:26 PM PDT

    •  Corporations (21+ / 0-)

      can't go to jail either.

      or get sick for lack of health care.

      or fight and die in endless foreign wars.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:54:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporations in practice have shorter lives (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, erush1345, G2geek, Loge, Matt Z

      Few corporations live to be 70 years old. John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco Systems was on Charlie Rose this evening. He stated that of the companies on the Fortune 500 when he became CEO in 1995 fewer than 100 are still in business. My only experience in big business was with a Fortune 500 company who made to it's 100 birthday, but is now gone. The oldest corporation in California was started in 1849 and is now in the aerospace business and healthy. The second oldest is Wells Fargo. In our current global economy I think the lifespan of corporations will continue to shrink.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:35:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That leads to a VERY interesting hypothesis: (7+ / 0-)

        What you just said is:

        Few corporations live as long as humans.

        Fortune 500 shows a 4/5 mortality rate over a 17-year span.

        There are a couple of > 100-year-old corporations still in California.

        To which I would also add:

        The startup failure rate during the 1st year of operation (90% last time I checked) can be considered as roughly equivalent to "infant mortality."

        Know what that is?  It's a description of Third World vital statistics!

        So here's the wild hypothesis:

        What we presently have in our economy is the equivalent of Third World conditions:  high birth rate and high death rate, high infant mortality, low average lifespan, and a huge disparity in lifespan from bottom to top.  

        Assume that Third World demographics are inherently undesirable for a range of reasons, and that we want to move the economy toward more of a First World demographic mix:  chiefly, lower "infant mortality," longer average life spans, and less disparity of lifespans between bottom and top.  

        What would it take to get there?  Probably something roughly equivalent to what it takes to do similarly for human longevity.

        Specific hypothesis:

        A shift of the corporate & economic equivalents of reproductive and childrearing strategies, from R-selection (high birth rate, low nurturance of offspring, high death rate) to K-selection (low birth rate, high nurturance of offspring, low death rate) will have similar salutary effects on the lifespans and accomplishments of corporations in an economy, as it does on the lifespans and accomplishments of natural persons in a social ecosystem.

        Thus we should have a legal framework that:

        = makes it more difficult to start an incorporated entity (lower birth rate), and

        = insists upon elements needed to ensure a greater degree of "nurturance" of a corporation once it's started (e.g. capital, expertise, business planning, inventory if relevant, workforce), and

        = offers greater support for corporations to improve their chances of success (zero to low tax rates in the early years, incentives for participation in enterprise development activities, support in gaining access to markets, etc.),

        = while at the same time insisting on adherence to higher standards of corporate citizenship both for the benefit of the longevity of the entity itself and for the benefit of its various constituencies (investors, owners, employees, customers, communities in which it operates, etc.).  

        What that looks like is ...Europe and Japan!

        Isn't that interesting, eh?  

        If my hypothesis is correct, then we would expect that European and Japanese corporations in general are healthier and live longer than American ones.  

        A few cases that come to mind:  Japanese corporations such as Matsushita/ Panasonic, Toshiba, Mitsubishi.  Siemens of Germany.  Ericsson.  I'm thinking largely of technology-related companies but there are plenty of others, in other sectors.  

        About small business and misc. incorporated entities:

        Clearly a different set of conditions is needed to foster development of small business, and also to make it possible for individuals to gain limited liability protection for certain types of assets.  In these areas we need to allow easier access to incorporation, and in particular lower red-tape.  Somehow we still need to find a way to encourage these entities to be developed with longer-term thinking in mind. This is a whole 'nother topic for another round of the discussion.

        I'll stop here for now.  What do you think?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:48:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting thought... but: (0+ / 0-)

          You would need a way to prevent 'phoenixing'--- to prevent a corporation from 'dying and rebirthing' every few years to qualify for the baby-business tax breaks.

          Also, Europe at least has tons of failed and eaten tech startups.  Which reminds me that in business there is a lot of predation, rather than simple infant mortality.  In some cases, esp. in tech, the 'babies' goal is to get eaten.

          Also, a lot of mom-and-pop businesses survive because of regulations that restrict larger corporations, rather than those that encourage the small guy.  For instance, Americans like to bemoan Europe's strict laws on when stores can be open (no Sundays, closed at 7, wtf), but they're designed to help small businesses that can't hire staff for all those extra hours.  Also, laws in some countries govern when sales can take place, and in some cases (like the French book industry), there are strict price controls, both deisgned to prevent big stores from using economies of scale to undercut the little guy.  

          Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

          by nominalize on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 05:09:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Their charters are issued by state government (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, jamess, jayden

      State government has the power to revoke the charters, no?

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:25:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good news (8+ / 0-)

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:58:21 PM PDT

  •  the rights corporations should have... (18+ / 0-)

    ... should be limited to:

    = The right to exist once they have been created.  

    = The right to buy, own, and sell property in their own names.  This is an axiomatic necessity of doing any kind of business.

    = The right to sue and be sued in their own names.  This follows from the above two points.

    = The right to commercial speech, which specifically refers to marketing and advertising of their products and services, subject to appropriate regulations of truthfulness, labeling, and so on to prevent fraud.

    If the individual natural persons who are the executives of a corporation wish to lobby Congress or otherwise engage in political speech, they have the same rights to do so as anyone else.  In all probability, they will gain whatever reasonable and legitimate access they need, by virtue of their expertise and their responsibility for production, employment, and so on.  

    But the gap between the effectiveness of speech by executives, and the speech of other natural persons, is hardly so large as what occurs when corporations can hire literally hundreds of lobbyists each, to swamp Congress and the Executive branch.  

    As for freedom of religion, that also pertains to individual natural persons only.  A corporation can't claim to have "beliefs" in the same manner as an individual, for example a belief that it has a soul, so it has no claim upon the rights that follow from those beliefs.  And from that it necessarily follows that a corporation can't impose religious restrictions on the beliefs or behaviors of its employees or shareholders, or the benefits that those employees and shareholders receive.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:01:36 PM PDT

    •  I think one of the major "limits" (20+ / 0-)

      is the ability of the state to "dissolve corporate charters"

      as a penalty for malfeasance.

      Afterall the state grants those charters in the first place,

      they should be able to take them away too.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:06:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what about religious corporations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Loge

      like churches and mosques?  don't they have free exercise rights?

        •  so we can pass a law saying that (0+ / 0-)

          funds held by a mosque can't be used to purchase korans?

          •  Could you specifically explain how this could (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radical simplicity, jayden

            follow?  I remember you saying this in a previous discussion--it was churches & Bibles then--& you say this like it's obvious, when it clearly isn't.

            Why assume any new Amendment would automatically contradict/conflict with the religious freedom portion of the First?

            Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

            by Leftcandid on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 07:08:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If a church doesn't have a right to religious (0+ / 0-)

              practice, then it wouldn't be able to object to a law prohibiting religious corporations from purchasing religious materials.

              Simple enough.

              The only counterargument goes as follows: "a law prohibiting those purchases is a violation of the individual congregant's rights, since that congregant exercises her rights through the conduit of the religious corporation."  And, of course, that's exactly what the supporters of the Citizens United decision say: by banning speech by corps, you ban the speech of the individuals that speak through the corp.

      •  those are corporations formed for the specific... (4+ / 0-)

        .... purpose of operating one or more churches, that could legitimately claim that the propagation of a specific religious viewpoint is their central purpose.

        But this brings up a wider issue, which is whether corporations should be allowed to claim that they exist "for any and all lawful purposes," as distinct for "from specific, limited, enumerated purposes."  

        Clearly the "every legal purpose" thing produces corporate immortality and enables all manner of slippery goings-on.  Including that any ordinary company could claim to have a religious purpose and thereby start engaging in religious discrimination in one form or another.  

        So clearly we have to roll back the "any legal purpose" thing and make them choose:   If they are engaged in a religious purpose, regardless of tax exemption, they can't use that as cover for operating commercial ventures far larger in scope.  And if they are engaged in a commercial purpose, they can't claim a religious purpose as a means of enacting discriminatory provisions in their commercial operations.  

        By "discrimination" I also include "health coverage" that is aligned with religious dogma to the point where it effectively discourages employment by people not of the same faith.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:03:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I understand... (3+ / 0-)

          501Cs can form and own separate, for-profit corporations to conduct profitable enterprises. As owner of that for-profit, the not-for-profit 501C (probably including nonprofit, such as church), can receive distributions as shareholder. Those shareholder distributions would be taxable income.

          Examples: realtor associations 501C(6) that own a for-profit corporation to run the multiple listing service. Churches might own a for-profit corporation to sell books and such. That's how they legally conform with IRS regulations.

          The IRS does audit nonprofits and not-for-profits for compliance with the corporation's stated purpose. If the bulk of the not-for-profit's efforts and staff time are spent on unrelated activity, the corporation would lose its not-for-profit tax status. Ergo, ownership of a for-profit commercial enterprise.

          Heh. I probably made that clear as mud.

          The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

          by SoCalSal on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:11:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, and.... (3+ / 0-)

            ... in that case the business corporation that is attached to a nonprofit religious corporation, should not be subject to the doctrinal impositions of the religious corporation.

            The critical issue today is freedom of choice in health care.  But should incorporated business entities gain "freedom of religion" to impose religious doctrines upon their employees via their health insurance, that power will expand until our economic landscape looks like some kind of Balkanized tribalized medieval condition.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:54:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The right will tie themselves in knots (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, elwior, jayden

    defending the sanctity of Supreme Court rulings that they like, complaining about how the states are nosing into something that isn't their business (of course, states grant corporate charters, so it actually is their business).  In the next breath they'll be trying to devolve any and every Federal function that they don't like to the states.

  •  Excellent news! (7+ / 0-)

    IIRC, this came from the ground up, from town meetings all across Vermont.

    •  Nice to know... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, ozsea1, exterris, jayden

      ... there is at least one State one can go and just be human.

      Remember the VT teacher that got in trouble his "W" sign? Think it said "All Hail, the Idiot Boy King" or was that another incident?

      Love VT, every person at the grocery counter/dinner/gas station has a M.A. or PhD in Philosophy. People talk there.

      Need to add Detroit to the map, think the "kids" over at OD are forming a personhood WG too.

      For the occasional reluctant tweet

      by Hector Solon on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:27:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is this the one? (0+ / 0-)
        Among the student projects that Mott said he photographed were a poster of the President Bush with duct tape over his mouth and a large papier-mâché combat boot with the American flag stuffed inside stepping on a doll. He said there also were pictures of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and his former chief lieutenant, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, posted on the walls.

        “Having spent 30 years in uniform, I was insulted,” he said. “… I’m just taking a stand on what happens in that classroom as a resident and a voter and a taxpayer of this community.”

        Mott said he took the photographs less than 48 hours after attending a school board meeting at which several residents complained about what they claimed was an attempt to “indoctrinate” not “educate” students.

        School officials have rejected that notion, defending Treece as a “thought-provoking” teacher who provides students in his public issues class with resources from the full spectrum of political perspectives.

        “As a teacher he (Treece) does present all sides of an issue,” Anderson said.

        Anderson said she was concerned that Mott used his uniform to gain access to a locked classroom after hours without supervision.

        “I find this behavior, at the very least, in violation of our policy for visitors at the school,” she wrote in her letter to the police chief. “I also find it disturbing that a police officer would wear his uniform under such circumstances thereby intimidating our employee (Cliche) into letting him in the building at a very unusual hour.”

        Treece does not hide his personal views and acknowledges his public criticisms of the war in Iraq and President Bush have irked many in the community. However, he said their contention that he is force-feeding his views to Spaulding students is simply wrong.

        “I tell kids from day one: ‘I don’t want you to agree with me, I want you to be informed and think for yourselves,” he said. “I have never squashed dissent in my class in any way shape or form.”

        Treece said his message to students is simple: “Defend what you believe and if you can’t defend it I’m going to pick holes in your argument no matter what side of the issue you’re on.”

        Treece said he supplies his students with a broad range of resources and encourages them to use them to come to their own conclusions.

        “My goal in that class is to get kids to think and be critical of everything they read and hear and see,” he said.

        Treece said he’s tired of being painted as anti-American simply because he challenges students not to take what anyone – not the president, their parents, or even he – says at face value.

        “I want them to understand that everybody’s got an agenda … everybody,” he said.

        Treece said that goes for his detractors, some of whom are using the controversy over a six-word sentence – “All hail the idiot boy king” – that he posted on a bulletin board next to a picture of President Bush as a reason to reject the high school budget. The budget is scheduled for a re-vote next week.

        Sorry for the wing-dings (in the original at the link).

        See if you can spot where the teacher went wrong in the eyes of the cop.

        Yeah, I thought you could.

        'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

        by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:05:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Happy to see that the WA State Dem Party has (9+ / 0-)

    already passed a Resolution and has not only sent it to the WA State Legislature in Olympia, but to the other 49 State Democratic Party organizations, to urge them to do the same.

    WTG Evergreen State!

    * * *
    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
    * * *
    "A Better World is Possible"
    -- #Occupy

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:47:20 PM PDT

  •  This is very good news! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Hector Solon, jayden

    And kudos to VT for being a leader in negating this atrocious "Supremes" verdict.

    However, my preference for the most subversive anti-"Corporate Personhood" action by states lies in laws that require corporations to have the same requirements as individuals as long as both are "persons":

    1) Have them subjected to registering for the draft

    2) Require corporations to follow the same bill paying rules, and receive the same penalties for transgressing those rules, as individuals have: 30 days payment limit before negative credit report. Period.

    As a free lance consultant who has lived with the 90-day bill pay cycle of corporate America, I would love that last law.

    But, hey, there must be a whole slew of laws on "persons" that would make large corporations in America want to slit their wrists and end their personhood. No?

    "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

    by Glinda on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:08:14 PM PDT

  •  Fine. They want to be "persons?" (8+ / 0-)

    Persons are not allowed to move their bank accounts "off-shore" to avoid taxes.

    When persons file for bankruptcy, they do it under chapter 7 or chapter 13, not Chapter 11.

    Government funding for persons is much more difficult, and not very lucrative.

    Cities and counties don't usually offer special tax breaks to persons just for moving there.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:35:08 PM PDT

  •  I voted for this in my town meeting in MA (7+ / 0-)

    Maybe just symbolic, but it was very satisfying. It passed.

  •  This is great news! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, jayden

    We're fighting for this hard in CA, at least here in San Jose.

    On the bailouts "... We should have thought about how they would treat us before we gave them the money." Now get out there and "Make the world a better place!"~ my 7 year old.

    by remembrance on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:06:39 PM PDT

  •  asdff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    What is the point of this useless exercise - federal law trumping state law on said issue.

    I mean - it's symbolic as all get-out - but has absolutely no legal effect whatsoever - the SCOTUS having the final say in this and all other federal issues involving the rules and laws regarding Interstate commerce and jurisdiction.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:38:05 PM PDT

  •  Would unions be restricted in the same way as (0+ / 0-)

    corporations under this proposal?

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:59:09 PM PDT

  •  We all move to Vermont, and (0+ / 0-)

    then secede from the  union.   I can't give Vermonters enough credit for being the adult that they are.

    Michigan is a mess, and Obama is going to cut Social Security and Medicare.    The transfer of more money up and austerity for everyone else is just  on the back burner until after the elections.  Obama will have more "flexibility" then.  

    "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

    by dkmich on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 02:19:32 AM PDT

    •  There's a book out there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Written in the 80's? 90's? in which Vermont did, blowing up all bridges on the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain and making maple syrup the gold standard (a quarry in Barre was filled with the stuff and became the maple repository, iifc). I think Kunin was the first President.

      It was hysterical, but I imagine a bit less so if you weren't from Vermont and a lot of the names/places weren't familiar. Can't recall the name of it, and I doubt it's even in print anymore.

  •  alternatively, amend Corporate Charter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leftcandid, jamess, jayden

    language in the states such that Corporate Board members are subject to joint and several liability for the actions of the corporation.  That would change corporate behavior muy pronto.  It also has the benefit of addressing the real problem--corporations are a means of concentrating power while diffusing responsibility.  What is more un-American than not taking responsibility for your actions?  Let's bring American values to American corporations and require their leaders to take responsibility for their actions.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 04:27:30 AM PDT

  •  People are corporations too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Good timing mentioning John Paul Stevens. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, TX Freethinker, jayden

    A reminder to say: Happy 92nd birthday, sir.  Thanks for hanging in there during the Bush years.  See ya on the tennis court!


  •  I found the amendment to be too vague (0+ / 0-)

    it threatens to undo what's useful about corporations too, or could be construed narrowly.  What if a state chooses to give corporations the rights of natural persons, explicitly?  Corporate personhood is a bit of a side issue to Citizens United -- even assuming they have Constitutional rights (and surely they have some), the question was whether Congress can nevertheless restrict the ability to engage in direct candidate advocacy.  I don't see a contradiction in believing corporations are persons for most purposes and that the artificial nature of corporations, including advantages in aggregating capital precisely because of it, justify greater restrictions on what is otherwise protected speech.  To that end:  

    When Buckley v. Valeo was decided, treating campaign expenditures as speech, there were amendments proposed to overturn that.  It's the more elegant solution.

    The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

    by Loge on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 08:32:32 AM PDT

    •  they are taking on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Citizens United and the Money is Speech issue too.

      According to Move to Amend

      corporate personhood and anonymous millionaire megaphones

      BOTH have to be fixed, to the interests of ALL the People.

      -- not just the privileged few.

      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 09:21:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the mcgovern amendment (0+ / 0-)
        "The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution."
        would have such wonderful consequences as to make it impossible to sue corporations in federal court in a number of circumstances.  That would require wholesale revision of the U.S. Code to avoid unintended consequences.  There's also huge loopholes in "deem reasonable" (a legislature could conceivable not have the power to deem reasonable that which is objectively in the mind of the court unreasonable), and "otherwise consistent."  Even with this language, I could craft a legal argument that Citizens United could be upheld:  such a law as existed under the BCRA would violate the rights of the natural persons who own and manage corporations and would therefore exceed Congress's power to abridge the freedom of speech.  Even if that weren't the case, I don't know where "otherwise consistent" leaves provisions like the prohibition on impairments of the obligation of contracts, which has been held since John Marshall's day to mean that states can't revoke corporate charters at will (the Dartmouth College case).  

        The fact is, the infamous Santa Clara case was correctly decided, and the headnote accurately describes the issues in the case.  Can a state tax property based on who owns it, a natural person or a corporation?  There's a clear equal protection violation.  It squarely confronts the issue of whether corporations have legal rights.  If they do, then they also have Constitutional rights.  The text of the amendment, at least as proposed in Congress, sheds heat not light.  It's bad judicial drafting, for that reason alone cannot and should not be ratified, and therefore can best be seen as an act of political cynicism.   Most importantly, for an amendment supposedly about Citizens United, it doesn't say anything about the issues actually before the Court.    Even JPS recognized corporations have some Constitutional rights, the question was whether the differences between corporations and natural persons justified a restriction on speech that would otherwise be unconstitutional.  The error the Court made, other than being blatantly political, was elevating form over substance.  Most of the amendment proposals make the same methodological mistake.  

        The exhortation about protecting the interests of all the people is not an actual argument.

        The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

        by Loge on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:46:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

a gilas girl, RepackRider, chase, GainesT1958, Kitty, Angie in WA State, Alma, KeithH, Bill in Portland Maine, Chi, Odysseus, grollen, ogre, glitterscale, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, karlpk, sara seattle, LynChi, Jim in Chicago, GayHillbilly, celdd, SallyCat, zeitshabba, Creosote, opinionated, 88kathy, justme, Wee Mama, whenwego, bluesteel, KMc, roses, ovals49, ivote2004, jennifree2bme, thea lake, Glinda, Cedwyn, RLF, TexDem, kdrivel, roseeriter, Black Maned Pensator, Calidrissp, lcrp, alizard, zett, WisVoter, KayCeSF, Mosquito Pilot, jcrit, boran2, Hector Solon, G2geek, CTPatriot, PBen, Simplify, ChemBob, reflectionsv37, fixxit, eru, SaraBeth, Burned, Isara, Savvy813, WisePiper, sodalis, JanF, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, Reality Bites Back, Showman, Kingsmeg, tonyahky, smokeymonkey, The Wizard, Shakludanto, blueoasis, Rosaura, middleagedhousewife, onionjim, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, blueoregon, bstotts, AllanTBG, Pandoras Box, AntKat, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, BeninSC, Cronesense, offgrid, terabytes, bnasley, HCKAD, jayden, ubertar, jhop7, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, on the cusp, gizmo59, JDWolverton, TX Freethinker, wayoutinthestix, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, elwior, wagdog, Ocelopotamus, davekro, Missys Brother, petulans, prettygirlxoxoxo, The Dead Man, CanyonWren, Methinks They Lie, WakeUpNeo, MKSinSA, Shelley99, jfromga, clifmichael, Leftcandid, Larsstephens, Railfan, FogCityJohn, p gorden lippy, SmartRat, apip0115, cai, Jaimas, elengul, MsGrin, ericlewis0, Floande, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, slice, redlum jak, ozsea1, freesia, BillyElliott, CoExistNow, smiley7, trumpeter, boomerchick, marleycat, thomask, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, Grandma Susie, MRA NY, JayFromPA, poliwrangler, disconnect the dots, randomfacts, beforedawn, SoCalSal, Auriandra, ParkRanger, I C Mainer, drawingporno, IowaBiologist, Liberal Granny, greenbastard, Siri, Citizenpower, IndieGuy, a2nite, congenitalefty, jan4insight, TBug, radical simplicity, Olkate, MartyM, Buckeye54, Margd, Glen The Plumber, history first, lastlegslaststand, CalBearMom, Sue B, DamselleFly, remembrance, SanFernandoValleyMom, bob152, The Angry Architect

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site