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Uncooperative Tom

Corporations Are People

Should corporations have some of the same rights as natural persons?  

57 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the government be able to perform a search on a corporation's property without probable cause or a warrant?

    • Yes, corporations are not people and should not have 4th amendment rights.
    • No, corporations should continue to enjoy the same constitutional protection as living people.
    • No, corporations are people. Sometimes.


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Hard to tell as phrased.

 

Associations of people for political, professional, commercial, charitable or other purposes should have the same rights in regard to search and seizure without a warrant.

 

I'm sure it would take a long time for lawyers and politicians to get through everything they would like controlled.

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The phrasing is a bit off. Obviously corporations are not people, but they get to sort of "be people" in a legal sense.

Otherwise Boeing, Walmart, or NBC could be raped, looted, and pillaged by the government with no recourse.

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Has the Supreme Court addressed the issue? If so, in which case(s)?

Why are you asking? Aren't you the lawyer and in a position to make a contribution instead of acting deliberately obtuse?

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Has the Supreme Court addressed the issue? If so, in which case(s)?

Why are you asking? Aren't you the lawyer and in a position to make a contribution instead of acting deliberately obtuse?

 

In light of the multi-thread multi-post discussion between Tom and Sol on this issue, one wonders who's being deliberately obtuse. Sorry Saorsa, I can't understand how you've missed this discussion. Tom gets a bone and Sol tries to take it away, the result, as they say, is a lot of growling.

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Has the Supreme Court addressed the issue? If so, in which case(s)?

Why are you asking? Aren't you the lawyer and in a position to make a contribution instead of acting deliberately obtuse?

 

In light of the multi-thread multi-post discussion between Tom and Sol on this issue, one wonders who's being deliberately obtuse. Sorry Saorsa, I can't understand how you've missed this discussion. Tom gets a bone and Sol tries to take it away, the result, as they say, is a lot of growling.

It would take a bit of reading and reading comprehension to understand what that exchange was about. I'll leave it to you two to lob the turds, and repeat my question about the new topic that Tom started. It is different from the First Amendment issue that Tom has been raising in various threads, without much of a comment from me until I saw something amiss in his description of the decision. So if we are going to switch to the Fourth Amendment and how it applies to corporations, which is another fine topic, I ask if there is controlling authority on the issue, as Tom showed us that there was with the First.

 

Much of Con Law is insufferably boring, as the precedent is what it is. I hate discussing it, but if we are going to discuss amending the Constitution, then such a discussion is a necessity. Sorry you guys don't like it. It is admittedly a topic that does not lend itself particularly well to us-vs-them partisan discussion.

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Growl,

Grr,

Growl.

It is admittedly a topic that does not lend itself particularly well to us-vs-them partisan discussion.

 

Sol, despite tweaking your nose a bit, I enjoy the discussion. And, I wonder if a wide ranging, ongoing discussion of who has what rights and what rights can be granted or taken away isn't one of the most important issues of our time?

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Yes we have no bananas.

 

You must be a lawyer or something. As a judge once said during a patent hearing to a prosecutor where I was an expert witness, after a read-back of a convoluted and utterly unintelligible bit of jabberwocky:

'Please try to be direct. Kindly speak a version of English that we can all understand'.

 

 

How about asking the question directly:

 

1) Yes, Corporations are similar to workers unions, clubs and other affiliated groups, with 4th amendment rights afforded to individual persons.

2) No, Corporations and similar affiliations such as unions, clubs and other affiliations should not enjoy the 4th amendment rights afforded to individual persons.

3) Yes, Corporations and affiliations should enjoy 4th amendment rights afforded to individual persons under certain conditions. Explain why Corporations and affiliations of groups of people should be held to separate double standards.

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Has the Supreme Court addressed the issue? If so, in which case(s)?

 

On the general idea of whether or not corporations are "persons" they actually said a long time ago that the question was too stupid to come before them and would not be considered:

 

One of the points made and discussed at length in the brief of counsel for defendants in error was that "corporations are persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States." Before argument, MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE said:

 

"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 opinion that it does. "

 

 

On the specific question of fourth amendment rights, the courts seem to have said that corporations have them:

 

The respondents do not contend that business premises are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. Such a proposition could not be defended in light of this Court's clear holdings to the contrary. See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541 (1967); Go-Bart Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 344 (1931); Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920). Nor can it be claimed that corporations are without some Fourth Amendment rights. Go-Bart Co. v. United States, supra; Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, supra; Oklahoma Press Pub. Co. v. Walling, 327 U.S. 186, 205 -206 (1946); Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 75 -76 (1906). Cf. California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz, 416 U.S. 21 (1974); Federal Trade Comm'n v. American Tobacco Co., 264 U.S. 298, 305 -306 (1924); Wilson v. United States, 221 U.S. 361, 375 -376 (1911); Consolidated Rendering Co. v. Vermont, 207 U.S. 541, 553 -554 (1908).

 

The Court, of course, has recognized that a business, by its special nature and voluntary existence, may open itself to intrusions that would not be permissible in a purely private context. Thus, in United States v. Biswell, 406 U.S. 311 (1972), a warrantless search of a locked storeroom during business hours, pursuant to the inspection procedure authorized by the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. 923 (g), was upheld:

 

 

 

"When a dealer chooses to engage in this pervasively [429 U.S. 338, 354] regulated business and to accept a federal license, he does so with the knowledge that his business records, firearms, and ammunition will be subject to effective inspection." 406 U.S., at 316 .

 

I have not read any of those cases.

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Yes we have no bananas.

 

You must be a lawyer or something. As a judge once said during a patent hearing to a prosecutor where I was an expert witness, after a read-back of a convoluted and utterly unintelligible bit of jabberwocky:

'Please try to be direct. Kindly speak a version of English that we can all understand'.

 

 

How about asking the question directly:

 

1) Yes, Corporations are similar to workers unions, clubs and other affiliated groups, with 4th amendment rights afforded to individual persons.

2) No, Corporations and similar affiliations such as unions, clubs and other affiliations should not enjoy the 4th amendment rights afforded to individual persons.

3) Yes, Corporations and affiliations should enjoy 4th amendment rights afforded to individual persons under certain conditions. Explain why Corporations and affiliations of groups of people should be held to separate double standards.

 

If only the constant complaints about "corporations are people now" were so nuanced!

 

Those look more like answers than questions. Which one do you like best?

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Would it be OK for the government to just go have a look around NAACP headquarters and make sure they are not doing anything bad?

 

 

The respondents do not contend that business premises are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. Such a proposition could not be defended in light of this Court's clear holdings to the contrary. See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541 (1967); Go-Bart Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 344 (1931); Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920). Nor can it be claimed that corporations are without some Fourth Amendment rights. Go-Bart Co. v. United States, supra; Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, supra; Oklahoma Press Pub. Co. v. Walling, 327 U.S. 186, 205 -206 (1946); Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 75 -76 (1906). Cf. California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz, 416 U.S. 21 (1974); Federal Trade Comm'n v. American Tobacco Co., 264 U.S. 298, 305 -306 (1924); Wilson v. United States, 221 U.S. 361, 375 -376 (1911); Consolidated Rendering Co. v. Vermont, 207 U.S. 541, 553 -554 (1908).

 

The Court, of course, has recognized that a business, by its special nature and voluntary existence, may open itself to intrusions that would not be permissible in a purely private context. Thus, in United States v. Biswell, 406 U.S. 311 (1972), a warrantless search of a locked storeroom during business hours, pursuant to the inspection procedure authorized by the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. 923 (g), was upheld:

 

 

 

"When a dealer chooses to engage in this pervasively [429 U.S. 338, 354] regulated business and to accept a federal license, he does so with the knowledge that his business records, firearms, and ammunition will be subject to effective inspection." 406 U.S., at 316 .

 

 

It would seem that the answer to your question in the OP, repeated above, is "no."

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Would it be OK for the government to just go have a look around NAACP headquarters and make sure they are not doing anything bad?

 

 

The respondents do not contend that business premises are not protected by the Fourth Amendment. Such a proposition could not be defended in light of this Court's clear holdings to the contrary. See v. City of Seattle, 387 U.S. 541 (1967); Go-Bart Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 344 (1931); Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385 (1920). Nor can it be claimed that corporations are without some Fourth Amendment rights. Go-Bart Co. v. United States, supra; Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, supra; Oklahoma Press Pub. Co. v. Walling, 327 U.S. 186, 205 -206 (1946); Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43, 75 -76 (1906). Cf. California Bankers Assn. v. Shultz, 416 U.S. 21 (1974); Federal Trade Comm'n v. American Tobacco Co., 264 U.S. 298, 305 -306 (1924); Wilson v. United States, 221 U.S. 361, 375 -376 (1911); Consolidated Rendering Co. v. Vermont, 207 U.S. 541, 553 -554 (1908).

 

The Court, of course, has recognized that a business, by its special nature and voluntary existence, may open itself to intrusions that would not be permissible in a purely private context. Thus, in United States v. Biswell, 406 U.S. 311 (1972), a warrantless search of a locked storeroom during business hours, pursuant to the inspection procedure authorized by the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. 923 (g), was upheld:

 

 

 

"When a dealer chooses to engage in this pervasively [429 U.S. 338, 354] regulated business and to accept a federal license, he does so with the knowledge that his business records, firearms, and ammunition will be subject to effective inspection." 406 U.S., at 316 .

 

 

It would seem that the answer to your question in the OP, repeated above, is "no."

 

The answer is indeed no, and the reason is corporate fourth amendment rights.

 

We need to be careful about restricting the rights protected in the Bill of Rights. Even for evil corporations.

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There is a discussion of the application of the Fourth to private or commercial in See v City of Seattle. Good enough starting point, I guess.

 

We therefore conclude that administrative entry, without consent, upon the portions of commercial premises which are not open to the public may only be compelled through prosecution or physical force within the framework of a warrant procedure. We do not in any way imply that business premises may not reasonably be inspected in many more situations than private homes, nor do we question such accepted regulatory techniques as licensing programs which require inspections prior to operating a business or marketing a product. Any constitutional challenge to such programs can only be resolved, as many have been in the past, on a case-by-case basis under the general Fourth Amendment standard of reasonableness. We hold only that the basic component of a reasonable search under the Fourth Amendment -- that it not be enforced without a suitable warrant procedure -- is applicable in this context, as in others, to business as well as to residential premises. Therefore, appellant may not be prosecuted for exercising his constitutional right to insist that the fire inspector obtain a warrant authorizing entry upon appellant's locked warehouse.

 

In that and other passages, the court clearly says that businesses have fourth amendment rights. How can that be? They would need to also be able to vote and bear arms for that to be true, wouldn't they? :rolleyes:

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I think it's funny that only kent_island_sailor has chosen what is really the most correct answer to my poll question. Yes, my answer is among the wrong majority.

 

The answer is no, and the reason is that "corporations are people, sometimes." A sarcastic way of expressing the idea that corporations enjoy some of the same rights as "natural persons" which is what the courts call all of us.

 

Not all of the same rights, and the limits will be different, so corporations are like people in their legal rights... sometimes.

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Yes we have no bananas.

 

 

If the question asked is, "Are you really completely out of bananas?"

 

I started this thread because I am tired of the complaints about "corporations are people now" because of a regressive Supreme Court that suddenly discovered corporate personhood and first amendment rights in the Citizens United case.

 

That is not what happened, and not the true complaint. The truth is, corporations have had first amendment rights for a long time and for good reasons, and the complainers are unhappy with the allowable restrictions on first amendment rights and want to further restrict them.

 

Many times for very good reasons. The majority in Citizens United said that spending lots of money doesn't really give any kind of political appearance one way or another. That's not how they put it, of course, but it does kind of boil down that way in the view of many. They therefore want to further restrict the first amendment rights of corporations. That's fine. Make that argument.

 

If any of you make the argument that corporations should not be people, it is likely to be transplanted to this thread for further review... :P

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Yes we have no bananas.

 

 

If the question asked is, "Are you really completely out of bananas?"

 

I started this thread because I am tired of the complaints about "corporations are people now" because of a regressive Supreme Court that suddenly discovered corporate personhood and first amendment rights in the Citizens United case.

 

That is not what happened, and not the true complaint. The truth is, corporations have had first amendment rights for a long time and for good reasons, and the complainers are unhappy with the allowable restrictions on first amendment rights and want to further restrict them.

 

Many times for very good reasons. The majority in Citizens United said that spending lots of money doesn't really give any kind of political appearance one way or another. That's not how they put it, of course, but it does kind of boil down that way in the view of many. They therefore want to further restrict the first amendment rights of corporations. That's fine. Make that argument.

 

If any of you make the argument that corporations should not be people, it is likely to be transplanted to this thread for further review... :P

 

Okay, Tom, as to your question, I am ambivalent on my answer. (I'm not a Constitutional scholar. Frankly I'm a productive, well-compensated nerd/creative type.) On the one hand, corporations are not people in the sense that an individuals rights afforded the republic are different than those of a collection of persons. As a result, individual rights afforded by the 4th amendment protections to illegal search and seizure afforded to individuals of a republic, seem out of scope in the context of a collection of persons representing an interest group. That said, the group can be similarly attacked by a government agenda or judicial activism, just as a person can be attacked, as is happening with disturbing regularity now. Whether you agree or not with the organization, a timely example is Planned Parenthood. In this context, the situation clearly overlaps with the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech/assembly/press petitioning of grievances.

 

While I am averse to such governmental tyranny, the status quo of wealthy interests driving and controlling the public discourse and political agenda requires serious review. The reality of the currently widening US income gap has created a government beholden to wealthy interests, and unanswerable to large portions of a disenfranchised electorate, with the very very wealthy controlling the political dialogue, and an ever growing, unheard, unrepresented, and poor underclass, and ever increasing, well-financed attacks on both people and groups. (FWIW, history shows us that this situation does not end well for anyone, including the wealthy. They usually wind up on the wrong end of a pitchfork, with with big bonfires in the background. We don't need to go there. However, we all should realize we cannot sustain a great society without a thriving middle class.)

 

IMHO, straightforward step one to solving problem is to begin by considering re-framing campaign finance to be restricted, and media constrained to free political ads and debates. Whatever a large group want to say in print, or on the internet, would need to fall under their own website or with their corporate/group logo attached-no more phantom arms. That might tone down the tin cup political contribution scams and false political rhetoric which has exploded to such hysterical and epidemically bombastic proportions, it's more like bad drama than a political process. (This Republican Primary is more Salvador Dali Da-Da art/theater of the absurd than a political process.) The whole campaign contribution/lobby thing is such a sour, self-fulfilling mess and NOBODY wants to listen to anymore. It's like a rash that won't go away.

 

So, I think the entire underpinning of the discussion needs to be re-framed under an entirely new paradigm. Answering it in the context of the status quo leaves me with no satisfying answers.

 

To finish, it is much more direct and logical to ask;

"Do you have bananas?"

 

To which the reply would be;

"No, we are sold out of bananas"

 

But it is not a catchy musical lyric, (or a confusing logical question and answer...)

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Okay, Tom, as to your question, I am ambivalent on my answer. (I'm not a Constitutional scholar. Frankly I'm a productive, well-compensated nerd/creative type.)

 

I'm not a Constitutional scholar either, just a guy who has read dozens of cases and reached some conclusions. I sometimes get the feeling that people consider me something of a constitutional scholar around here, but that is because they have read zero cases and I have read dozens. Real constitutional scholars have read thousands. My job allows me to use my real name and say what I want on Sailing Anarchy. :P

 

On the one hand, corporations are not people in the sense that an individuals rights afforded the republic are different than those of a collection of persons. As a result, individual rights afforded by the 4th amendment protections to illegal search and seizure afforded to individuals of a republic, seem out of scope in the context of a collection of persons representing an interest group. That said, the group can be similarly attacked by a government agenda or judicial activism, just as a person can be attacked, as is happening with disturbing regularity now.

 

The bottom line here is: corporations have some of the same rights as natural people. Those include first amendment rights to free expression, fourth amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, fifth amendment rights regarding eminent domain, and probably others I don't even know about. Though they have first and fourth amendment rights, they are subject to different restrictions than the same rights in individuals. One of the excerpts I quoted above talks about a firearms dealer having to submit to searches. The same kind of search of a home would be a serious problem, but the government said that by choosing to be in a heavily regulated industry, he agreed to the search. That's a reasonable search, which the fourth amendment says is no problem. The second amendment says we can keep and bear arms, but does not say the government may not regulate the firearms industry.

 

Whether you agree or not with the organization, a timely example is Planned Parenthood. In this context, the situation clearly overlaps with the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech/assembly/press petitioning of grievances.

 

While I am averse to such governmental tyranny, the status quo of wealthy interests driving and controlling the public discourse and political agenda requires serious review. The reality of the currently widening US income gap has created a government beholden to wealthy interests, and unanswerable to large portions of a disenfranchised electorate, with the very very wealthy controlling the political dialogue, and an ever growing, unheard, unrepresented, and poor underclass, and ever increasing, well-financed attacks on both people and groups. (FWIW, history shows us that this situation does not end well for anyone, including the wealthy. They usually wind up on the wrong end of a pitchfork, with with big bonfires in the background. We don't need to go there. However, we all should realize we cannot sustain a great society without a thriving middle class.)

 

IMHO, straightforward step one to solving problem is to begin by considering re-framing campaign finance to be restricted, and media constrained to free political ads and debates. Whatever a large group want to say in print, or on the internet, would need to fall under their own website or with their corporate/group logo attached-no more phantom arms. That might tone down the tin cup political contribution scams and false political rhetoric which has exploded to such hysterical and epidemically bombastic proportions, it's more like bad drama than a political process. (This Republican Primary is more Salvador Dali Da-Da art/theater of the absurd than a political process.) The whole campaign contribution/lobby thing is such a sour, self-fulfilling mess and NOBODY wants to listen to anymore. It's like a rash that won't go away.

 

So, I think the entire underpinning of the discussion needs to be re-framed under an entirely new paradigm. Answering it in the context of the status quo leaves me with no satisfying answers.

 

I'm a Planned Parenthood fan, but don't see the relevance of their current controversy to this discussion or the first amendment. Some other charity doesn't want to give them money any more, and there's backlash.

 

The rest of what you wrote is exactly the kind of thing I want to see in discussions about corporate speech around here. Not that I agree with it all, but you are stating a perceived set of problems and why restrictions on corporate first amendment rights are appropriate in your view. That's great, and btw, I'm far from disagreeing with all that you said either. My beef is, as I said, with the idea that corporations do not have these rights. They do. How much we restrict them is fair game for discussion in that context. That's my paradigm.

 

You are right that my answers would have been less clumsy if my poll question had been worded differently.

 

It's still funny that only kent_island_sailor got the right answer, and even I got my own question wrong. :lol:

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Are corporations entitled to pursuit of happiness?

 

The first transplant.

 

Natural persons are free to pursue happiness within various constitutional limits. Corporations may operate within their corporate charters, and will continue to enjoy long-recognized constitutional rights. We can talk about limiting those constitutional rights if you want, but we're going to admit right up front that is what we are talking about.

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Corporations will be people when Texas executes one.

 

 

Did you answer the poll question, Jack?

 

Do you believe the government should be able to search corporate property without probable cause or a warrant? If not, why not?

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Okay, Tom, as to your question, I am ambivalent on my answer. (I'm not a Constitutional scholar. Frankly I'm a productive, well-compensated nerd/creative type.)

 

I'm not a Constitutional scholar either, just a guy who has read dozens of cases and reached some conclusions. I sometimes get the feeling that people consider me something of a constitutional scholar around here, but that is because they have read zero cases and I have read dozens. Real constitutional scholars have read thousands. My job allows me to use my real name and say what I want on Sailing Anarchy. :P

 

The bottom line here is: corporations have some of the same rights as natural people. Those include first amendment rights to free expression, fourth amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, fifth amendment rights regarding eminent domain, and probably others I don't even know about. Though they have first and fourth amendment rights, they are subject to different restrictions than the same rights in individuals. One of the excerpts I quoted above talks about a firearms dealer having to submit to searches. The same kind of search of a home would be a serious problem, but the government said that by choosing to be in a heavily regulated industry, he agreed to the search. That's a reasonable search, which the fourth amendment says is no problem. The second amendment says we can keep and bear arms, but does not say the government may not regulate the firearms industry.

Tom, I appreciate that you're not a connie scholar - but you're the closest thing we got here - so you'll have to do :D

 

Read the bolded part above.... this is what I have against the CU case precedent and its roadblock to campaign finance reform. If I understand it correctly - CU essentially threw wide the gates of unlimited money to political speech by corporations because they enjoy the same 1st Am rights as natural people. But here's the thing - as we have discussed - corporations get SOME of the same rights as natural folk, yet corporations can also be limited or restricted in some of those same rights. I don't think anyone disagrees that the gov't should be able to completely muzzle a corporation from having some free speech just as we agree that corporations should not be subject to unlimited warrantless searches and seizure. But if we can place reasonable limits on those Bill of rights that corporations enjoy - why can't we also limit some of the scope of the political speech (i.e. unlimited $$) that corporations get to participate in? I think its a reasonable way to go if we have ANY hope of getting the political process back into the hand of NATURAL people and out of the hands of corporation "people".

 

I don't think there's anything unreasonable about limiting corporate campaign funding and political ad funding just like we limit individual contributions to specific candidates.

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I don't think there's anything unreasonable about limiting corporate campaign funding and political ad funding just like we limit individual contributions to specific candidates.

 

The currently established rules basically say what you want, but here's the problem. As an individual, I could spend billions on my own Presidential campaign. I can spend billions running ads promoting my point of view, even if I'm not running for President. A corporation can't run for President, but it can spend money promoting its own point of view.

 

In the case of Citizens United, the corporate viewpoint seems to have been: Hillary Sucks! OK, they can spend money promoting that point of view.

 

Now, how do we separate that sort of activity from campaign contributions, which have been limited all along? Not easily, and restricting the ability of any individual or group to use their own resources to promote their own viewpoint is a dangerous thing to attempt.

 

On the practical side, look who is attempting it. I see campaign finance laws as incumbent protection schemes. The recent DISCLOSE act is a good example. Disclosure for all (uh, except the NRA, Sierra Club, and other big players who can buy a pass). That means difficult rules for the politically weak and no new rules for the politically powerful. That is not how we, the natural persons, are going to get empowered. We stand a better chance without rules that apply only to the politically weak.

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Corporations will be people when Texas executes one.

2920564210082084340S500x500Q85.jpg

So, does anyone know who the originator of this quote is?

 

Who cares? Just another ignoramus who is not familiar with our laws and our rights. People that ignorant should not be allowed to vote, IMO.

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I just voted.

 

No, they are not people.

 

From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

 

People, "human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by common interest".

 

 

Corporation, "a group of merchants,or traders united in a trade guild, the municipal authorities of a town or city, a body formed and authorised by to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession, an association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a corporate state".

 

Given that the preamble of the Constitution sets the conditions for the various admendments,

 

What part of, "We the people" doesn't the Supreme Court understand.

 

Only human beings/people are given the rights and responsiblities under the constitution.

 

Can "We the people" create an entity that has rights and responsiblities, Yes, but subject to certain restrictions. If corporations are allowed financial free speech, then why can't they vote. Its he same reasoning as not being able to execute one.

 

I'll leave the legal arguement at that.

 

I propose the following.

 

A person may give any amount of money to any candidate that that person is eligible to vote for. You can buy your city council person, state rep, senator or president. That the identity of the contributor shall be disclosed at that time and published in a local, state or federal.

 

It leaves the parties, unions and corporations out of the loop. But they can't vote anyway.

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I just voted.

 

No, they are not people.

 

From Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary:

 

People, "human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by common interest".

 

 

Corporation, "a group of merchants,or traders united in a trade guild, the municipal authorities of a town or city, a body formed and authorised by to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession, an association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a corporate state".

 

Given that the preamble of the Constitution sets the conditions for the various admendments,

 

What part of, "We the people" doesn't the Supreme Court understand.

 

Only human beings/people are given the rights and responsiblities under the constitution.

 

Can "We the people" create an entity that has rights and responsiblities, Yes, but subject to certain restrictions. If corporations are allowed financial free speech, then why can't they vote. Its he same reasoning as not being able to execute one.

 

I'll leave the legal arguement at that.

 

I propose the following.

 

A person may give any amount of money to any candidate that that person is eligible to vote for. You can buy your city council person, state rep, senator or president. That the identity of the contributor shall be disclosed at that time and published in a local, state or federal.

 

It leaves the parties, unions and corporations out of the loop. But they can't vote anyway.

 

Your definition above says that corporations are authorized to act as a single person. Do you believe that means "act as a single person, but without rights and responsibilities" or just "act as a single person?"

 

Chief Justice Waite and a unanimous Supreme Court understood that the answer is the latter back in 1886 and that has been the answer ever since.

 

Before argument, MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE said:

 

"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 opinion that it does."

 

That idea is deeply rooted in our laws, and changing it is a bad idea. People have become accustomed to the idea that if they buy stock in a corporation, the government cannot just seize that corporation's property because the corporation is protected by the fourth amendment. The government cannot even take it for public use without just compensation because the corporation is protected by the fifth amendment. The power of eminent domain is already used to play political favorites. Imagine if they did not even have to pretend to be doing otherwise.

 

There are a lot of people who are allowed free speech, but not allowed to vote. Felons and foreigners, to name two classes. Corporations are another class of (legal) persons that can not vote. The reason is that voting is a very special and privileged way of expressing yourself politically compared to speaking. You can only do it under certain conditions, otherwise you can not. Speaking is not like that and should not be like that.

 

As to your solution, I'm generally in favor of disclosure rules. They have historically been used to combat conflicts of interest and they have at least some success. If that is your view, you should not have much problem with the Citizens United case:

 

In an 8-1 ruling, the court also affirmed the FEC's disclosure requirements, and it denied Citizens United's claim that these rules would "chill donations by exposing donors to retaliation." Thomas was the sole dissenting vote.

 

 

"The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," writes Kennedy for the majority.

 

As usual, Thomas does have a good point that we should also consider, and I can prove it. On some forums, my name is "publius" or some variation thereof. It's a tribute to the big government types (federalists) who rewrote the Articles of Confederation and gave us our current government. To avoid messenger attacks, they all wrote as "publius" or "a citizen" even though everyone pretty well knew who they were.

 

Anonymous political speech is important. Everyone who disagrees, say so now, and please include your full name and home town.

 

Sincerely,

Publius

 

(Too friggin lazy to create a sock named publius. You'll have to imagine I did.)

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By the way, the reason the NRA and Sierra Club bought themselves an exemption from the DISCLOSE act? Anonymous political speech. They do not want to disclose member lists. I can understand why. People think the NRA is composed of millions of crazy people. The New York Times said they just sit around pondering ways to decrease public safety and for a while there, Mark K (whoever that is) was willing to believe they had taken over Congressional oversight committees and were using them in a deranged plot to discredit the ATF and increase dealer sales. Would you want to be associated with a group of nuts like that?

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If corporations are people, my dick is an ice cream cone.

 

penis-ice-cream.jpg

Yummy....:)

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If corporations are people, my dick is an ice cream cone.

 

penis-ice-cream.jpg

Yummy....:)

Ice cream? I never touch the stuff.

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Anonymous political speech is important. Everyone who disagrees, say so now, and please include your full name and home town.

 

Sincerely,

Publius

 

 

I guess Justice Thomas was right again. Or at least no one wants to say he was not in public. Either way, it demonstrates the value of anonymous political speech.

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Are the voters entitled to know how much free speech is being given to our politicians and who is behind the more massive amounts of it? Amounts that could buy up nearly all the airwaves in a state, perhaps?

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Are the voters entitled to know how much free speech is being given to our politicians and who is behind the more massive amounts of it? Amounts that could buy up nearly all the airwaves in a state, perhaps?

 

Yes, that is long established in our laws and has not been disturbed.

 

... I'm generally in favor of disclosure rules. They have historically been used to combat conflicts of interest and they have at least some success. If that is your view, you should not have much problem with the Citizens United case:

 

In an 8-1 ruling, the court also affirmed the FEC's disclosure requirements, and it denied Citizens United's claim that these rules would "chill donations by exposing donors to retaliation." Thomas was the sole dissenting vote.

 

 

"The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," writes Kennedy for the majority.

 

 

Organizations can promote their point of view anonymously, which I'm sure you will agree is a valuable thing. What was your last name and home town again?

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Are the voters entitled to know how much free speech is being given to our politicians and who is behind the more massive amounts of it? Amounts that could buy up nearly all the airwaves in a state, perhaps?

 

Yes, that is long established in our laws and has not been disturbed.

 

... I'm generally in favor of disclosure rules. They have historically been used to combat conflicts of interest and they have at least some success. If that is your view, you should not have much problem with the Citizens United case:

 

In an 8-1 ruling, the court also affirmed the FEC's disclosure requirements, and it denied Citizens United's claim that these rules would "chill donations by exposing donors to retaliation." Thomas was the sole dissenting vote.

 

 

"The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," writes Kennedy for the majority.

 

 

Organizations can promote their point of view anonymously, which I'm sure you will agree is a valuable thing. What was your last name and home town again?

 

 

No, I am not agreeing. I believe knowing who is the big money behind the person I am voting for is is important information, actually.

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Are the voters entitled to know how much free speech is being given to our politicians and who is behind the more massive amounts of it? Amounts that could buy up nearly all the airwaves in a state, perhaps?

 

Yes, that is long established in our laws and has not been disturbed.

 

... I'm generally in favor of disclosure rules. They have historically been used to combat conflicts of interest and they have at least some success. If that is your view, you should not have much problem with the Citizens United case:

 

In an 8-1 ruling, the court also affirmed the FEC's disclosure requirements, and it denied Citizens United's claim that these rules would "chill donations by exposing donors to retaliation." Thomas was the sole dissenting vote.

 

 

"The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," writes Kennedy for the majority.

 

 

Organizations can promote their point of view anonymously, which I'm sure you will agree is a valuable thing. What was your last name and home town again?

 

 

No, I am not agreeing. I believe knowing who is the big money behind the person I am voting for is is important information, actually.

 

So do our laws and 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United case, but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression. Or maybe you just forgot to tell me your last name and home town?

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Many Americans, including some on this forum, like the idea of unlimited corporate money in politics.

 

...

 

As it stands now we are again propping up a real "man of the people" in Mitt Romney, who made his money moving money, pays a MUCH smaller percentage in taxes than a working man and says "Corporations ARE people".

 

When some of you stop thinking in that fashion, things will start to change.

 

 

Corporate money in politics is not unlimited. There are contribution limits and disclosure rules that cover them.

 

Mitt Romney is merely stating a legal fact, and the proof that he is right is strewn throughout our legal history since 1886.

 

Regardless of what "some of us" think, the Supreme Court is not going to reverse themselves on that question, nor should they.

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So do our laws and 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United case, but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression. Or maybe you just forgot to tell me your last name and home town?

 

You should check Colbert's superpac to see how those laws are not working, as to the revealing of who is giving large sums of money. He's done a pretty good job of illustrating that.

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... but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression.

 

What you mean as Scalia's shadow, and not asking a question in over 5 years, that kind of politically anonymous?

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So do our laws and 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United case, but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression. Or maybe you just forgot to tell me your last name and home town?

 

You should check Colbert's superpac to see how those laws are not working, as to the revealing of who is giving large sums of money. He's done a pretty good job of illustrating that.

 

I don't need a comedian to tell me that well-intentioned laws often do not achieve their goals, Mark WhoeverthefucK. Is that failure related to corporate personhood? How?

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... but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression.

 

What you mean as Scalia's shadow, and not asking a question in over 5 years, that kind of politically anonymous?

 

No, I have read a few cases in which they disagree and that disagreement is well-illustrated by the fact that Scalia loves the theater of oral arguments while Thomas does not. So your premise is off, and also has nothing to do with anonymity.

 

You, on the other hand, seem to value anonymity like Thomas does (and Scalia does not, btw). Or are you another one who just forgot to include your full name and home town?

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So do our laws and 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United case, but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression. Or maybe you just forgot to tell me your last name and home town?

 

You should check Colbert's superpac to see how those laws are not working, as to the revealing of who is giving large sums of money. He's done a pretty good job of illustrating that.

 

I don't need a comedian to tell me that well-intentioned laws often do not achieve their goals, Mark WhoeverthefucK. Is that failure related to corporate personhood? How?

 

So you do believe there is a problem, but at the same time point to my anonymity as proof that it is important that the donors remain secret.

 

Oddly contradicting messages.

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So do our laws and 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United case, but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression. Or maybe you just forgot to tell me your last name and home town?

 

You should check Colbert's superpac to see how those laws are not working, as to the revealing of who is giving large sums of money. He's done a pretty good job of illustrating that.

 

I don't need a comedian to tell me that well-intentioned laws often do not achieve their goals, Mark WhoeverthefucK. Is that failure related to corporate personhood? How?

 

So you do believe there is a problem, but at the same time point to my anonymity as proof that it is important that the donors remain secret.

 

Oddly contradicting messages.

 

Yes, that's right. I already said that I agree with the 8 on the court who said disclosure rules would be OK, but I did point out that Clarence Thomas has a point we should not ignore: that anonymity is important in political expression sometimes. It's obviously important to you here on this forum. Speaking of this forum, what is the one thing you can do that will get you kicked out of this place? Out someone. Anonymity is important.

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... but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression.

 

What you mean as Scalia's shadow, and not asking a question in over 5 years, that kind of politically anonymous?

 

No, I have read a few cases in which they disagree and that disagreement is well-illustrated by the fact that Scalia loves the theater of oral arguments while Thomas does not. So your premise is off, and also has nothing to do with anonymity.

 

You, on the other hand, seem to value anonymity like Thomas does (and Scalia does not, btw). Or are you another one who just forgot to include your full name and home town?

For good reason, actually. I first came here totally public, but I was e-stalked, and the offender began sending me very strange, obtusely menacing emails at work, that I had no idea on how to reconcile, as the point of obsession was over a rather widely recognized bit of sailing humor. Real crazy, schizoid stuff. I have a family and don't need to worry about that sort of thing. So, after a few back and forths with SA officials, I cooled my real id, and went anonymous. Funny thing is that the nut-job was a OD sailor with an international reputation/ranking. A few persons confided that he had some screws loose. So, I am sorry, as to my secret identity, lesson learned...

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For good reason, actually. I first came here totally public, but I was e-stalked, and the offender began sending me very strange, obtusely menacing emails at work, that I had no idea on how to reconcile, as the point of obsession was over a rather widely recognized bit of sailing humor. Real crazy, schizoid stuff. I have a family and don't need to worry about that sort of thing. So, after a few back and forths with SA officials, I cooled my real id, and went anonymous. Funny thing is that the nut-job was a OD sailor with an international reputation/ranking. A few persons confided that he had some screws loose. So, I am sorry, as to my secret identity, lesson learned...

 

I completely understand.

 

Sincerely,

Publius

 

(again you'll have to imagine I created a sock named Publius to make this post.)

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So do our laws and 8 of 9 Supreme Court Justices in the Citizens United case, but you do seem to think Clarence Thomas has a point about anonymous political expression. Or maybe you just forgot to tell me your last name and home town?

 

You should check Colbert's superpac to see how those laws are not working, as to the revealing of who is giving large sums of money. He's done a pretty good job of illustrating that.

 

I don't need a comedian to tell me that well-intentioned laws often do not achieve their goals, Mark WhoeverthefucK. Is that failure related to corporate personhood? How?

 

So you do believe there is a problem, but at the same time point to my anonymity as proof that it is important that the donors remain secret.

 

Oddly contradicting messages.

 

Yes, that's right. I already said that I agree with the 8 on the court who said disclosure rules would be OK, but I did point out that Clarence Thomas has a point we should not ignore: that anonymity is important in political expression sometimes. It's obviously important to you here on this forum. Speaking of this forum, what is the one thing you can do that will get you kicked out of this place? Out someone. Anonymity is important.

 

Even when one person has and is using huge economic power to affect elections? Enable one candidate to buy up nearly all the airtime in a particular state? Seems to me "a distinction with a difference".

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For good reason, actually. I first came here totally public, but I was e-stalked, and the offender began sending me very strange, obtusely menacing emails at work, that I had no idea on how to reconcile, as the point of obsession was over a rather widely recognized bit of sailing humor. Real crazy, schizoid stuff. I have a family and don't need to worry about that sort of thing. So, after a few back and forths with SA officials, I cooled my real id, and went anonymous. Funny thing is that the nut-job was a OD sailor with an international reputation/ranking. A few persons confided that he had some screws loose. So, I am sorry, as to my secret identity, lesson learned...

 

I completely understand.

 

Sincerely,

Publius

 

(again you'll have to imagine I created a sock named Publius to make this post.)

I thought Publius created you.

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Even when one person has and is using huge economic power to affect elections? Enable one candidate to buy up nearly all the airtime in a particular state? Seems to me "a distinction with a difference".

 

8 Supreme Court Justices said no to your questions, and I agree with them.

 

That does not mean Thomas does not have a valid point, or that anonymity is unimportant. As I noted, you seem to think it important, whoever you are. I also noted that this forum thinks it important. I also noted that disclosure was the reason the NRA and the Sierra Club bought themselves exemptions from the DISCLOSE Act. It's not a partisan issue. It was important to those very different groups for the same reason.

 

It's possible, actually likely in my limited experience, that when a Supreme Court case is decided by a vote other than 9-0, both sides of the argument had a good point. Not as good as the winning point, but valid all the same.

 

For example, it is well known around here that I believe Justice Thomas got the Raich case right. I have commented on the majority opinion by Justice Stevens a couple of times, and each time noted that his argument is not crazy or unreasonable, and that it makes good points. I like Thomas' better, but that does not make his argument invalid.

 

The concerns that Thomas, you, mr. fabulous, Sailing Anarchy, the NRA, and the Sierra Club have about anonymity are not going to go away and are not invalid. We had best respect that fact in crafting infringements on corporate first amendment rights.

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Even when one person has and is using huge economic power to affect elections? Enable one candidate to buy up nearly all the airtime in a particular state? Seems to me "a distinction with a difference".

 

8 Supreme Court Justices said no to your questions, and I agree with them.

 

That does not mean Thomas does not have a valid point, or that anonymity is unimportant. As I noted, you seem to think it important, whoever you are. I also noted that this forum thinks it important. I also noted that disclosure was the reason the NRA and the Sierra Club bought themselves exemptions from the DISCLOSE Act. It's not a partisan issue. It was important to those very different groups for the same reason.

 

It's possible, actually likely in my limited experience, that when a Supreme Court case is decided by a vote other than 9-0, both sides of the argument had a good point. Not as good as the winning point, but valid all the same.

 

For example, it is well known around here that I believe Justice Thomas got the Raich case right. I have commented on the majority opinion by Justice Stevens a couple of times, and each time noted that his argument is not crazy or unreasonable, and that it makes good points. I like Thomas' better, but that does not make his argument invalid.

 

The concerns that Thomas, you, mr. fabulous, Sailing Anarchy, the NRA, and the Sierra Club have about anonymity are not going to go away and are not invalid. We had best respect that fact in crafting infringements on corporate first amendment rights.

 

One can slippery-slope anything. Why, if we allow the govenment the power to tell us whether or not we can cross the street, or even cross an intersection, next thing we know, we are all in FEMA death camps.

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Justice Thomas just might have been thinking of NAACP vs Alabama. That NAACP sure is an interesting corporation. ;)

 

In 1956, the Attorney General of Alabama brought a suit to the State Circuit Court of Montgomery, Alabama challenging the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for violation of a state statute requiring foreign corporations to qualify before doing business in the state. The NAACP, a nonprofit membership corporation based in New York, had not complied with the statute, as it believed it was exempt. The state suit sought both to prevent the Association from conducting further business within the state and, indeed, to remove it from the state. Referring to the Association's involvement with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and its role in funding and providing legal assistance to black students' seeking admission to the state university, the suit charged that the Association was ". . . causing irreparable injury to the property and civil rights of the residents and citizens of the State of Alabama for which criminal prosecution and civil actions at law afford no adequate relief . . . ." On the day this suit was filed, the circuit court agreed to issue an ex parte order restraining the Association from conducting business in the state or taking steps to qualify it to do so.

 

The Association, represented throughout by Robert L. Carter of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, responded by moving to dissolve the order on the grounds that its activities within the state did not require its qualification under the statute and that the state's suit was intended to violate its rights to freedom of speech and of assembly as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. Before a hearing date was set, the state issued a subpoena for much of the Association's records, including bank statements and leases, but most notably the names and addresses of the "agents" or "members" of the Association in Alabama. In its response to the lawsuit, the Association admitted that it was in breach of the statute and offered to obtain qualification to continue business if that part of the ex parte order was lifted. Because the Association did not comply with the order to produce its records, that motion was denied and the Association was held in contempt and fined $10,000. The contempt order allowed for the reduction or remission of the fine if the production order was complied with within five days, after which the fine would be raised to $100,000.

 

Contending that the State could not constitutionally force disclosure of the records, the Association moved to dismiss the contempt judgment once more. According to Alabama case law, however, a petitioner could not seek a hearing or to dissolve an order until it purged itself of contempt.

 

220px-Cartertreanor.JPG magnify-clip.png Lead attorney on NAACP v. Alabama, Judge Robert L. Carter, with the dean of Fordham Law School, William Treanor The United States Supreme Court reversed the first contempt judgment. The Alabama Supreme Court then claimed the U.S. Supreme Court had relied on a "mistaken premise" and reinstated the contempt judgment, which the U.S. Supreme Court reversed again. The NAACP moved to try the case on the merits; this motion was denied and again appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which remanded the case to Alabama, and ordered the Federal district court to try the case on the merits if the Alabama court system continued to refuse to do so.

 

The Alabama state circuit court finally heard the case on the merits, and decided the NAACP had violated Alabama law and ordered it to stop doing business in the state; the Alabama appeals courts upheld this judgment, refusing to hear the NAACP's appeals on Constitutional grounds. Finally, the fourth time the case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, it granted certiorari and decided the case, itself, on the merits rather than remand the case to the balking Alabama court system, which had taken five years to get this far.

 

 

[edit] Decision

In an opinion delivered by Justice John Marshall Harlan II, the Supreme Court decided in favor of the petitioners, holding that "Immunity from state scrutiny of petitioner's membership lists is here so related to the right of petitioner's members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in doing so as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment" and, further, that freedom to associate with organizations dedicated to the "advancement of beliefs and ideas" is an inseparable part of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The action of the state's obtaining the names of the Association's membership would likely interfere with the free association of its members, so the state's interest in obtaining the records was superseded by the constitutional rights of the petitioners.

 

 

The Association is, of course, a corporation. As a corporation, they should not have rights like people, so it was OK for Alabama to obtain the names back then, right?

 

Anyone disturbed by that question? You should be.

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How many times do I have to tell you we are in agreement on that point?

 

But just because you can slippery slope it doesn't mean anonymity is unimportant, does it Mark Whoever?

 

It's just that you are agreeing with both the decision and the dissent. Where is Thomas making his mistake?

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How many times do I have to tell you we are in agreement on that point?

 

But just because you can slippery slope it doesn't mean anonymity is unimportant, does it Mark Whoever?

 

It's just that you are agreeing with both the decision and the dissent. Where is Thomas making his mistake?

 

It's possible for both to be right. In other words, NAACP v Alabama should be a pretty good illustration of why Thomas is right. Do you think that it would chill political expression if the Supreme Court had simply said back in the 1950's "We changed our mind! Corporations are not people, so you, NAACP, can not petition for the rights enjoyed by people under the 14th amendment. Live with Alabama taking your membership lists."

 

I think it would have, meaning Thomas is right that anonymity can be important in political expression. The majority said he is wrong in giving it enough importance to outweigh our need to know who is funding political messages. I agree. That does not make his concern wrong or unimportant, it just means our need to know can be more important.

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How many times do I have to tell you we are in agreement on that point?

 

But just because you can slippery slope it doesn't mean anonymity is unimportant, does it Mark Whoever?

 

It's just that you are agreeing with both the decision and the dissent. Where is Thomas making his mistake?

 

It's possible for both to be right. In other words, NAACP v Alabama should be a pretty good illustration of why Thomas is right. Do you think that it would chill political expression if the Supreme Court had simply said back in the 1950's "We changed our mind! Corporations are not people, so you, NAACP, can not petition for the rights enjoyed by people under the 14th amendment. Live with Alabama taking your membership lists."

 

I think it would have, meaning Thomas is right that anonymity can be important in political expression. The majority said he is wrong in giving it enough importance to outweigh our need to know who is funding political messages. I agree. That does not make his concern wrong or unimportant, it just means our need to know can be more important.

 

 

We agree on that. What I don't understand is why that makes me a hypocrite.

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I have not called you a hypocrite, nor called out anyone for remaining anonymous outside of this thread. Here, in this conversation, it just means you value your privacy. So did the members of the NAACP back in the 1950s in Alabama. So do I, even though I post under my real name. I have posted my real Social Security card lots of times too. Wanna see it again?

 

socseccard.jpg

 

Notice anything missing?

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So we have 16 people who say that corporations are not people, and no one who wants to explain to me why the Supreme Court got NAACP vs Alabama wrong? Come on now, HARDONnameswiper, Mitch, dacapo, JBSF, weekwhacker, t22harris, ShutUpAndDrive, BigGuyWithPinkHat, Craven Moorehead, HollyGoodhead, Lilly, Eric, cap10ed, TheOwnersWife, opal, or John Gault, let's explore the consequences of your view.

 

What do you suppose would have happened if the Supreme Court had decided in the 1950s to reverse 70 years of precedent and say that the NAACP and other corporations would not be treated as "persons" under the law?

 

Decision

In an opinion delivered by Justice John Marshall Harlan II, the Supreme Court decided in favor of the petitioners, holding that "Immunity from state scrutiny of petitioner's membership lists is here so related to the right of petitioner's members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in doing so as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment" and, further, that freedom to associate with organizations dedicated to the "advancement of beliefs and ideas" is an inseparable part of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The action of the state's obtaining the names of the Association's membership would likely interfere with the free association of its members, so the state's interest in obtaining the records was superseded by the constitutional rights of the petitioners.

 

The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people.

 

Why is what the Supreme Court did wrong, and how should they have handled the situation, if at all?

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The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people.

 

That is a mis-statement of the law. See e.g. our discussion of association standing. You might want to read Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Commission.

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The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people.

 

That is a mis-statement of the law. See e.g. our discussion of association standing.

 

A mis-statement of potential law, perhaps, but ruling that the NAACP had no standing as a "person" but could petition on behalf of all members based on associational standing would have been inconsistent with precedent at the time. They ruled consistent with precedent.

 

Your argument reminds me of Alan Gura's attempt to persuade the court to revive the privileges and immunities clause in the Heller case. Scalia basically looked at him and said, "You can get there via the well-traveled due process highway, and you want to lead us out into that uncharted swamp?" The NAACP's brief in that case warned against disturbing a whole area of settled law, and the court proved unwilling to do so.

 

Yes, back when the Slaughterhouse and Cruikshank cases were decided, the Court could have gone a different way and preserved a meaningful privileges and immunities clause. They did not. In 1886, the court could have decided not to treat any corporation as a person, but to allow it to act on behalf of owners to protect their rights. They did not.

 

Undoing that decision now would nullify whole areas of case law dealing with the 14th amendment and all of the rights that depend on it.

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I have not made an argument. I have just pointed out that the assertion you made above, which I cited, is contradicted by Hunt v. Washington State Apple. Feel free to run the aisles of the law library, pulling case reporters out, launching them into the air and throwing names around, but that will not change the fact that you once again mis-cited the law on association standing.

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I have not made an argument. I have just pointed out that the assertion you made above, which I cited, is contradicted by Hunt v. Washington State Apple. Feel free to run the aisles of the law library, pulling case reporters out, launching them into the air and throwing names around, but that will not change the fact that you once again mis-cited the law on association standing.

 

If the court had applied associational standing in the way you suggest it could have, and denied the NAACP standing as a person in NAACP v Alabama, would that have been consistent with precedent?

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I have not made an argument. I have just pointed out that the assertion you made above, which I cited, is contradicted by Hunt v. Washington State Apple. Feel free to run the aisles of the law library, pulling case reporters out, launching them into the air and throwing names around, but that will not change the fact that you once again mis-cited the law on association standing.

 

If the court had applied associational standing in the way you suggest it could have, and denied the NAACP standing as a person in NAACP v Alabama, would that have been consistent with precedent?

That was not what you said. What you said was that "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." That is not a correct citation of the law. See Hunt v. Washington Apple.

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I have not made an argument. I have just pointed out that the assertion you made above, which I cited, is contradicted by Hunt v. Washington State Apple. Feel free to run the aisles of the law library, pulling case reporters out, launching them into the air and throwing names around, but that will not change the fact that you once again mis-cited the law on association standing.

 

If the court had applied associational standing in the way you suggest it could have, and denied the NAACP standing as a person in NAACP v Alabama, would that have been consistent with precedent?

That was not what you said. What you said was that "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." That is not a correct citation of the law. See Hunt v. Washington Apple.

 

The part on associational standing says:

 

(a) An association has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when (1) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; (2) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and (3) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation in the lawsuit of each of the individual members. Warth v. Seldin,

 

Getting back to NAACP vs Button for a moment, that case was about Virginia barratry statutes and how they unduly restricted the ability of the corporation to engage in political expression. Unless all the members were lawyers, it is hard to see how they could have standing to sue in that case. If the members do not otherwise have standing, the organization has no associational standing. NAACP would have lost in that case if they did not have standing as a corporate "person."

 

In NAACP vs Alabama, it is not as clear. The members might have had a privacy interest that gave them individual standing to sue over the corporate membership lists, so I guess it is possible that the Supreme Court could have overturned their precedent, declared that corporations would no longer be treated as persons, and heard the case based on associational standing. They did not.

 

It's an interesting discussion of what they could have done, but does nothing to answer my question about NAACP vs Alabama:

 

Why is what the Supreme Court did wrong, and how should they have handled the situation, if at all?

 

Wanna take a shot at it?

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If the court had applied associational standing in the way you suggest it could have, and denied the NAACP standing as a person in NAACP v Alabama, would that have been consistent with precedent?

That was not what you said. What you said was that "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." That is not a correct citation of the law. See Hunt v. Washington Apple.

 

The part on associational standing says:

 

(a) An association has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when (1) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; (2) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and (3) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation in the lawsuit of each of the individual members. Warth v. Seldin,

 

Getting back to NAACP vs Button for a moment, that case was about Virginia barratry statutes and how they unduly restricted the ability of the corporation to engage in political expression. Unless all the members were lawyers, it is hard to see how they could have standing to sue in that case. If the members do not otherwise have standing, the organization has no associational standing. NAACP would have lost in that case if they did not have standing as a corporate "person."

 

In NAACP vs Alabama, it is not as clear. The members might have had a privacy interest that gave them individual standing to sue over the corporate membership lists, so I guess it is possible that the Supreme Court could have overturned their precedent, declared that corporations would no longer be treated as persons, and heard the case based on associational standing. They did not.

 

It's an interesting discussion of what they could have done, but does nothing to answer my question about NAACP vs Alabama:

 

Why is what the Supreme Court did wrong, and how should they have handled the situation, if at all?

 

Wanna take a shot at it?

Take a shot at what, your comment: "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." I did. Is that not what you meant to say? If that is not what you meant to say, please say what you intended to say, and if it is not a mis-statement of the law, I will move merrily along. I won't play with moving targets.

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That was not what you said. What you said was that "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." That is not a correct citation of the law. See Hunt v. Washington Apple.

 

The part on associational standing says:

 

(a) An association has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when (1) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; (2) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and (3) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation in the lawsuit of each of the individual members. Warth v. Seldin,

 

Getting back to NAACP vs Button for a moment, that case was about Virginia barratry statutes and how they unduly restricted the ability of the corporation to engage in political expression. Unless all the members were lawyers, it is hard to see how they could have standing to sue in that case. If the members do not otherwise have standing, the organization has no associational standing. NAACP would have lost in that case if they did not have standing as a corporate "person."

 

In NAACP vs Alabama, it is not as clear. The members might have had a privacy interest that gave them individual standing to sue over the corporate membership lists, so I guess it is possible that the Supreme Court could have overturned their precedent, declared that corporations would no longer be treated as persons, and heard the case based on associational standing. They did not.

 

It's an interesting discussion of what they could have done, but does nothing to answer my question about NAACP vs Alabama:

 

Why is what the Supreme Court did wrong, and how should they have handled the situation, if at all?

 

Wanna take a shot at it?

Take a shot at what, your comment: "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." I did. Is that not what you meant to say? If that is not what you meant to say, please say what you intended to say, and if it is not a mis-statement of the law, I will move merrily along. I won't play with moving targets.

 

I though we were done with your hypothetical about what could have happened way back when, so I figured I would return to my still-unanswered question. If you want me to reword my statement to acknowledge your point that the Supreme Court could have gone a whole different way back in 1886, here you go:

 

Because corporations had been treated as persons for 70 years by the time NAACP v Alabama came around, the way to grant them standing that was consistent with precedent was to consider the corporation a person. Denial of their corporate personhood at that time would have been inconsistent with precedent, something the Supreme Court tends to avoid. It is true that the Supreme Court has the power to overrule their own precedents, so they could have overturned 70 years of law at that point to take a different approach to giving the NAACP standing.

 

There you go. Now my summary of the state of the law includes your hypothetical.

 

Now will you answer my question? It has not moved since before you arrived in this thread.

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See Hunt v. Washington Apple.

Gets right to the core. Without apeels.

 

edit: correction: with apeel.

 

While Nanny screeches about Liberals nothing is being said or done about campaign finance reform and corporations being people.

 

 

What should have been done about the NAACP being considered a person back in Alabama in the 1950s? Maybe you will answer my question about how the court got that case wrong?

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The part on associational standing says:

 

(a) An association has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when (1) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; (2) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization's purpose; and (3) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation in the lawsuit of each of the individual members. Warth v. Seldin,

 

Getting back to NAACP vs Button for a moment, that case was about Virginia barratry statutes and how they unduly restricted the ability of the corporation to engage in political expression. Unless all the members were lawyers, it is hard to see how they could have standing to sue in that case. If the members do not otherwise have standing, the organization has no associational standing. NAACP would have lost in that case if they did not have standing as a corporate "person."

 

In NAACP vs Alabama, it is not as clear. The members might have had a privacy interest that gave them individual standing to sue over the corporate membership lists, so I guess it is possible that the Supreme Court could have overturned their precedent, declared that corporations would no longer be treated as persons, and heard the case based on associational standing. They did not.

 

It's an interesting discussion of what they could have done, but does nothing to answer my question about NAACP vs Alabama:

 

Why is what the Supreme Court did wrong, and how should they have handled the situation, if at all?

 

Wanna take a shot at it?

Take a shot at what, your comment: "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." I did. Is that not what you meant to say? If that is not what you meant to say, please say what you intended to say, and if it is not a mis-statement of the law, I will move merrily along. I won't play with moving targets.

 

I though we were done with your hypothetical about what could have happened way back when, so I figured I would return to my still-unanswered question. If you want me to reword my statement to acknowledge your point that the Supreme Court could have gone a whole different way back in 1886, here you go:

 

Because corporations had been treated as persons for 70 years by the time NAACP v Alabama came around, the way to grant them standing that was consistent with precedent was to consider the corporation a person. Denial of their corporate personhood at that time would have been inconsistent with precedent, something the Supreme Court tends to avoid. It is true that the Supreme Court has the power to overrule their own precedents, so they could have overturned 70 years of law at that point to take a different approach to giving the NAACP standing.

 

There you go. Now my summary of the state of the law includes your hypothetical.

 

Now will you answer my question? It has not moved since before you arrived in this thread.

All I was addressing was your comment "The NAACP can not be a petitioner under the 14th amendment if it is not considered a person, because the 14th amendment protects people." As long as your revised statement does not contain that mis-statement of the law, then I will leave you to throw case reporters in the air as you run the aisles. Perhaps your exuberance in defense of the NAACP caused you to overlook the tasty Washington Apples.

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We've been reading about corporations having the right to free speech and protection from unlawful search and seizure, so how about their 26th Amendment rights? Is it ok for the government to restrict corporations from their Constitutionally guaranteed right to vote?

 

 

Yes, it is. As I pointed out to Punta Gorda Jack:

 

 

There are a lot of people who are allowed free speech, but not allowed to vote. Felons and foreigners, to name two classes. Corporations are another class of (legal) persons that can not vote. The reason is that voting is a very special and privileged way of expressing yourself politically compared to speaking. You can only do it under certain conditions, otherwise you can not. Speaking is not like that and should not be like that.

 

I see no problem with prohibiting felons, foreigners, and corporations from voting. It's a privilege you can lose. Speaking is not like that and should not be like that.

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Take an issue - like corporate unlimited donations. If enough pressure was applied, we could change that.

 

 

I doubt it. The Supreme Court will probably continue to restrict donations, and I see no political support for changing that law.

 

Why do you want corporations to be able to make unlimited donations anyway?

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