Whose Rights? A new Supreme Court decision promotes corporate rights at the expense of the rights of citizens. What happens when the legal structure itself stands in the way of a republic?

From:  Yes magazine

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission—giving corporations the ability to spend money directly to influence federal elections under the Constitution’s First Amendment—was inevitable. It represents a logical expansion of corporate constitutional “rights”—which include the rights of persons which have been judicially conferred upon corporations. “Personhood” rights mean that corporations possess First Amendment rights to free speech, along with a litany of other rights that are secured to persons under the federal Bill of Rights.

The expansion of corporate rights and privileges under the law has been deliberate, beginning nearly two hundred years ago with the Dartmouth decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that private corporations had rights that municipal corporations—governments composed of “we the people”—did not.

For the past two centuries, new court decisions have only expanded corporate rights and privileges.

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One thought on “Whose Rights? A new Supreme Court decision promotes corporate rights at the expense of the rights of citizens. What happens when the legal structure itself stands in the way of a republic?

  1. Are corporations really persons?

    Do corporations think?

    Do corporations weep?

    Do corporations fall in love?

    Do corporations grieve when a loved one dies as a result of a lack of adequate health care?

    Do corporations have loved ones?

    Are corporations even capable of loving?

    Do corporations sometimes lose sleep at night worrying about disease, violence, destruction, and the suffering of their fellow human beings?

    Do corporations feel your pain?

    Can a corporation run for public office?

    Is a corporation capable of having a sense of humor? Is it capable of laughing at itself? (EXAMPLE: “So these two corporations walk into a bar….”)

    If a corporation ever committed an unspeakable crime against the American people, could IT be sent to federal prison? (Note the operative word here: “It”)

    Has a corporation ever walked into a voting booth and cast a ballot for the candidate of its choice?

    We all know that corporations have made an ocean of cash throughout our history by profiting on the unspeakable tragedy of war. But has a corporation ever given its life for its country?

    Is a corporation capable of raising a child?

    Does a corporation have a conscience? Does it feel remorse after it has done something really bad?

    Has a corporation ever been killed in an accident as the result of a design flaw in the automobile it was driving?

    Has a corporation ever written a novel or a dramatic play or a song that inspired millions?

    Has a corporation ever risked its life by climbing a ladder to save a child from a burning house?

    Has a corporation ever won an Oscar? Or an Emmy? Or a Tony? Or the Nobel Peace Prize? Or a Polk or Peabody Award? Or the Pulitzer Prize in Biography?

    Has a corporation ever performed Schubert’s Ave Maria?

    Has a corporation ever been shot and killed by someone who was using an illegal and unregistered gun?

    Has a corporation ever paused to reflect upon the simple beauty of an autumn sunset or a brilliant winter moon rising on the horizon?

    If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise if there are no corporations there to hear it?

    Should corporations kiss on the first date?

    Could a corporation resolve to dedicate its life to being an artist? Or a musician? Or an opera singer? Or a Catholic priest? Or a Doctor? Or a Dentist? Or a sheet metal worker? Or a gourmet chef? Or a short-order cook? Or a magician? Or a nurse? Or a trapeze artist? Or an author? Or an editor? Or a Thrift Shop owner? Or a EMT worker? Or a book binder? Or a Hardware Store clerk? Or a funeral director? Or a sanitation worker? Or an actor? Or a comedian? Or a glass blower? Or a chamber maid? Or a film director? Or a newspaper reporter? Or a deep sea fisherman? Or a farmer? Or a piano tuner? Or a jeweler? Or a janitor? Or a nun? Or a Trappist Monk? Or a poet? Or a pilgrim? Or a bar tender? Or a used car salesman? Or a brick layer? Or a mayor? Or a soothsayer? Or a Hall-of-Fame football player? Or a soldier? Or a sailor? Or a butcher? Or a baker? Or a candlestick maker?

    Could a corporation choose to opt out of all the above and merely become a bum? Living life on the road, hopping freight trains and roasting mickeys in the woods?

    I realize that this is pure theological speculation on my part but the question is just screaming to be posed: When corporations die, do they go to Heaven?

    Our lives – yours and mine – have more worth than any goddamned corporation. To say that the Supreme Court made a awful decision on Thursday is an understatement. Not only is it an obscene ruling, it is an insult to our humanity.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

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