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Importunate Tom

NY Times vs Sullivan

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NY Times vs Sullivan was a first amendment case in which it was decided that news outlets could not be sued for libel unless there was "actual malice" involved.

 

The first amendment, of course, starts with one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language:

 

"The Congress shall make no law..."

 

Clearly, it regulates things Congress can do and nothing else. Or it did...

 

To make the topic case a first amendment case, two ingredients are needed: the 14th amendment and corporate personhood.

 

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

 

 

Due process and equal protection apply to persons.

 

So my question for opponents of corporate personhood is: do you believe state and local government action against news outlets should be reviewed by the courts for first amendment violations, as happened in the topic case?

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NY Times vs Sullivan was a first amendment case in which it was decided that news outlets could not be sued for libel unless there was "actual malice" involved.

 

The first amendment, of course, starts with one of the most beautiful phrases in the English language:

 

"The Congress shall make no law..."

 

Clearly, it regulates things Congress can do and nothing else. Or it did...

 

To make the topic case a first amendment case, two ingredients are needed: the 14th amendment and corporate personhood.

 

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

 

 

Due process and equal protection apply to persons.

 

So my question for opponents of corporate personhood is: do you believe state and local government action against news outlets should be reviewed by the courts for first amendment violations, as happened in the topic case?

 

The Bill of Rights should remain as the founders intended. I truly believe they would have been horrified to witness this:

 

corporate_logo_flag_new-500x333.jpg

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Was that a yes or a no?

 

The Bill of Rights was intended to support the notion that people are the root of all power and authority over government. Down the road that became subverted and I would like to return to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

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Was that a yes or a no?

 

The Bill of Rights was intended to support the notion that people are the root of all power and authority over government. Down the road that became subverted and I would like to return to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

 

 

I'm not sure you realize it, but you answered a much broader question than the one I asked. The answer is fascinating, so I'll go with it.

 

That original intent was to limit Congress and federal actions through the Bill of Rights. The founders were dead by the time the 14th amendment was passed. They never intended for the first amendment to restrict state censorship (of individuals or corporations.)

 

So you're saying you want to get rid of the 14th. Is that what you really meant to say? If so, I have lots more questions about that. If not, try answering the topic question again. It's one that can be answered yes or no.

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I think I explained it pretty well unless you don't understand the intent of the Founding Fathers. I want an amendment that restores that intent. pretty simple really.

 

Edit to add: I think the Founders would not be particularly happy with elements of the 14th Amendment.

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I think I explained it pretty well unless you don't understand the intent of the Founding Fathers. I want an amendment that restores that intent. pretty simple really.

 

Edit to add: I think the Founders would not be particularly happy with elements of the 14th Amendment.

 

OK, so you believe state and local government action against news outlets should not be reviewed by the courts for first amendment violations, since state-level censorship of news corporations is none of the federal government's business. Does that pretty well sum it up?

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I think I explained it pretty well unless you don't understand the intent of the Founding Fathers. I want an amendment that restores that intent. pretty simple really.

 

Edit to add: I think the Founders would not be particularly happy with elements of the 14th Amendment.

 

OK, so you believe state and local government action against news outlets should not be reviewed by the courts for first amendment violations, since state-level censorship of news corporations is none of the federal government's business. Does that pretty well sum it up?

 

 

Nope, I believe the people should push an amendment that defines Corporate power and responsibilities where necessary, always benefiting the people first and foremost and fixing the 1886 "mistake"

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I think the court unanimously reached the obvious conclusion back then.

 

"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 the opinion that it does."

 

 

Merriam Webster sez

 

 

Full Definition of CORPORATION
1
a : a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild
b : the municipal authorities of a town or city
2
: a body formed and authorized by law 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
3
: 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 corporative state

 

It seems to me that if the state charters an entity that is authorized by law to act as a single person, treating it as a single person makes sense. Authorizing it to act as a single person and then not treating it that way makes far less sense.

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I think the court unanimously reached the obvious conclusion back then.

 

"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 the opinion that it does."

 

 

Merriam Webster sez

 

 

Full Definition of CORPORATION
1
a : a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild
b : the municipal authorities of a town or city
2
: a body formed and authorized by law 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
3
: 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 corporative state

 

It seems to me that if the state charters an entity that is authorized by law to act as a single person, treating it as a single person makes sense. Authorizing it to act as a single person and then not treating it that way makes far less sense.

 

Corporations should not own the rights reserved to natural persons. Corporations should be seen a artificial entities under the law. They don't lose anything per se but lose rights that interfere with human superiority over the corporation.

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The days of natural persons actually voting their own shares are, for the most part, gone. The idea that a corporate board acts in the interest of the majority is ridiculous in today's world. For this reason, I don't subscribe to the concept of "corporate personhood".

 

http://fortune.com/2014/12/16/shareholder-voting-rights/

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I think the court unanimously reached the obvious conclusion back then.

 

"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 the opinion that it does."

 

 

Merriam Webster sez

 

 

Full Definition of CORPORATION
1
a : a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild
b : the municipal authorities of a town or city
2
: a body formed and authorized by law 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
3
: 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 corporative state

 

It seems to me that if the state charters an entity that is authorized by law to act as a single person, treating it as a single person makes sense. Authorizing it to act as a single person and then not treating it that way makes far less sense.

 

Corporations should not own the rights reserved to natural persons. Corporations should be seen a artificial entities under the law. They don't lose anything per se but lose rights that interfere with human superiority over the corporation.

 

 

OK, let's discuss some specific examples.

 

How about political expression?

 

In NAACP vs Button, the State of Virginia was preventing a corporation from "plaintiff shopping" in civil rights lawsuits. An ordinary legal regulation, purview of the state.

 

The Supreme Court decided that because of the political importance of those lawsuits, the state law suppressed free expression and was unconstitutional.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

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The days of natural persons actually voting their own shares are, for the most part, gone. The idea that a corporate board acts in the interest of the majority is ridiculous in today's world. For this reason, I don't subscribe to the concept of "corporate personhood".

 

http://fortune.com/2014/12/16/shareholder-voting-rights/

 

The idea that union leader$hip acts in the interest of the majority is similarly ludicrous, so I assume your objection applies to union$ too?

 

Odd that you never seem to mention it...

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The days of natural persons actually voting their own shares are, for the most part, gone. The idea that a corporate board acts in the interest of the majority is ridiculous in today's world. For this reason, I don't subscribe to the concept of "corporate personhood".http://fortune.com/2014/12/16/shareholder-voting-rights/

 

The idea that union leader$hip acts in the interest of the majority is similarly ludicrous, so I assume your objection applies to union$ too?

 

Odd that you never seem to mention it...

Yes, same goes for unions.

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The days of natural persons actually voting their own shares are, for the most part, gone. The idea that a corporate board acts in the interest of the majority is ridiculous in today's world. For this reason, I don't subscribe to the concept of "corporate personhood".http://fortune.com/2014/12/16/shareholder-voting-rights/

The idea that union leader$hip acts in the interest of the majority is similarly ludicrous, so I assume your objection applies to union$ too?

 

Odd that you never seem to mention it...

Yes, same goes for unions.

 

 

We have quite a history in this country of hostility between unions and state/local governments. So that's not the federal government's business under the 14th amendment?

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Badlat, how about freedom of association? Wiki on NAACP v Alabama:

 

Alabama sought to prevent the NAACP from conducting further business in the state. After the circuit court issued a restraining order, the state issued a subpoena for various records, including the NAACP's membership lists. The Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's demand for the lists had violated the right of due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

 

 

Alabama's actions against the corporation are only a federal matter if you apply the 1886 mistake to the 14th amendment. So you believe the feds should have left Alabama alone?

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OK, let's discuss some specific examples.

 

How about political expression?

 

In NAACP vs Button, the State of Virginia was preventing a corporation from "plaintiff shopping" in civil rights lawsuits. An ordinary legal regulation, purview of the state.

 

The Supreme Court decided that because of the political importance of those lawsuits, the state law suppressed free expression and was unconstitutional.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

 

 

Tom, you're not looking at this from the perspective of the Founding Fathers, but rather have adopted the view of the Supreme Court in 1886, who were persuaded by Corporations to recognize personhood. Thomas Paine explained it in the "Rights of Man" 1791:

 

"It has been thought, that government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

 

Thus, he explained that any institution made up of humans, from government to churches to corporations must be subordinate to the people in terms of the rights and powers held by an institution. The documentation of what the Founders expressed as their wishes is long and fervent in their belief that monopolies of commerce should be restrained.

 

Prior to 1886, there were state laws in abundance that dictated control over corporations. Indeed, it was this interference that caused corporations to adopt their personhood argument from the 14th Amendment.

 

The NAACP could be redesignated a non-profit corporation for purposes of your argument. I fail to see how we could not accommodate these problems.

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Badlat, how about freedom of association? Wiki on NAACP v Alabama:

 

Alabama sought to prevent the NAACP from conducting further business in the state. After the circuit court issued a restraining order, the state issued a subpoena for various records, including the NAACP's membership lists. The Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's demand for the lists had violated the right of due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

 

 

Alabama's actions against the corporation are only a federal matter if you apply the 1886 mistake to the 14th amendment. So you believe the feds should have left Alabama alone?

 

How about Plessy v Ferguson Tom? the Supreme Court took away 14th Amendment protections for black people in 1896 and didn't restore them for another 60 years. Lots of mistakes and lots of fixes in our nations history. Nothing is sacrosanct and nothing is unrepairable.

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OK, let's discuss some specific examples.

 

How about political expression?

 

In NAACP vs Button, the State of Virginia was preventing a corporation from "plaintiff shopping" in civil rights lawsuits. An ordinary legal regulation, purview of the state.

 

The Supreme Court decided that because of the political importance of those lawsuits, the state law suppressed free expression and was unconstitutional.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

 

 

Tom, you're not looking at this from the perspective of the Founding Fathers, but rather have adopted the view of the Supreme Court in 1886, who were persuaded by Corporations to recognize personhood. Thomas Paine explained it in the "Rights of Man" 1791:

 

"It has been thought, that government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

 

Thus, he explained that any institution made up of humans, from government to churches to corporations must be subordinate to the people in terms of the rights and powers held by an institution. The documentation of what the Founders expressed as their wishes is long and fervent in their belief that monopolies of commerce should be restrained.

 

Prior to 1886, there were state laws in abundance that dictated control over corporations. Indeed, it was this interference that caused corporations to adopt their personhood argument from the 14th Amendment.

 

The NAACP could be redesignated a non-profit corporation for purposes of your argument. I fail to see how we could not accommodate these problems.

 

 

They are already a non-profit corporation, just like Citizens United.

 

I didn't make an argument so much as ask a question. I'm still wondering about the answer.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

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Badlat, how about freedom of association? Wiki on NAACP v Alabama:

 

Alabama sought to prevent the NAACP from conducting further business in the state. After the circuit court issued a restraining order, the state issued a subpoena for various records, including the NAACP's membership lists. The Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's demand for the lists had violated the right of due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Alabama's actions against the corporation are only a federal matter if you apply the 1886 mistake to the 14th amendment. So you believe the feds should have left Alabama alone?

 

How about Plessy v Ferguson Tom? the Supreme Court took away 14th Amendment protections for black people in 1896 and didn't restore them for another 60 years. Lots of mistakes and lots of fixes in our nations history. Nothing is sacrosanct and nothing is unrepairable.

 

 

Mistakes?

 

 

 

...Freedom of association as a concept thus grew out of a series of cases in the 1950's and 1960's in which certain States were attempting to curb the activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In the first case, the Court unanimously set aside a contempt citation imposed after the organization refused to comply with a court order to produce a list of its members within the State. ''Effective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association, as this Court has more than once recognized by remarking upon the close nexus between the freedoms of speech and assembly.'' 198 ''%5BT%5Dhese indispensable liberties, whether of speech, press, or association,'' 199 may be abridged by governmental action either directly or indirectly, wrote Justice Harlan, and the State had failed to demonstrate a need for the lists which would outweigh the harm to associational rights which disclosure would produce.

 

Applying the concept in subsequent cases, the Court again held in Bates v. City of Little Rock, 200 that the disclosure of membership lists, because of the harm to be caused to ''the right of association,'' could only be compelled upon a showing of a subordinating interest; ruled in Shelton v. Tucker, 201 that while a State had a broad inter est to inquire into the fitness of its school teachers, that interest did not justify a regulation requiring all teachers to list all organizations to which they had belonged within the previous five years; again struck down an effort to compel membership lists from the NAACP; 202 and overturned a state court order barring the NAACP from doing any business within the State because of alleged improprieties. 203 Certain of the activities condemned in the latter case, the Court said, were protected by the First Amendment and, while other actions might not have been, the State could not so infringe on the ''right of association'' by ousting the organization altogether. 204

 

A state order prohibiting the NAACP from urging persons to seek legal redress for alleged wrongs and from assisting and representing such persons in litigation opened up new avenues when the Court struck the order down as violating the First Amendment. 205 ''[A]bstract discussion is not the only species of communication which the Constitution protects; the First Amendment also protects vigorous advocacy, certainly of lawful ends, against governmental intrusion. . . . In the context of NAACP objectives, litigation is not a technique of resolving private differences; it is a means for achieving the lawful objectives of equality of treatment by all government, federal, state and local, for the members of the Negro community in this country. It is thus a form of political expression. . . .

 

''We need not, in order to find constitutional protection for the kind of cooperative, organizational activity disclosed by this record, whereby Negroes seek through lawful means to achieve legitimate political ends, subsume such activity under a narrow, literal conception of freedom of speech, petition or assembly. For there is no longer any doubt that the First and Fourteenth Amendments protect certain forms of orderly group activity.'' 206 This decision was followed in three subsequent cases in which the Court held that labor unions enjoyed First Amendment protection in assisting their members in pursuing their legal remedies to recover for injuries and other actions. In the first case, the union advised members to seek legal advice before settling injury claims and recommended particular attorneys; 207 in the second the union retained attorneys on a salary basis to represent members; 208 in the third, the union maintained a legal counsel department which recommended certain attorneys who would charge a limited portion of the recovery and which defrayed the cost of getting clients together with attorneys and of investigation of accidents. 209 Wrote Justice Black: ''[T]he First Amendment guarantees of free speech, petition, and assembly give railroad workers the rights to cooperate in helping and advising one another in asserting their rights. . . .'' 210

 

Thus, a right to associate together to further political and social views is protected against unreasonable burdening, 211 but the evolution of this right in recent years has passed far beyond the relatively narrow contexts in which it was given birth.

 

 

It's notable to me that the corporate and union cases mentioned all have to do with paying lawyers.

 

Asserting your rights might mean paying lawyers. If you can't pay the lawyers, you have the rights but you can't assert them. Bummer, dude.

 

The last sentence is right and the rest of the article goes into things like just how private an organization must be before it can discriminate against otherwise protected classes of people.

 

I find it very interesting that you and Sean would react to Citizens United by tearing down decades of legal precedent, much of it established by groups I would expect you to favor.

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OK, let's discuss some specific examples.

 

How about political expression?

 

In NAACP vs Button, the State of Virginia was preventing a corporation from "plaintiff shopping" in civil rights lawsuits. An ordinary legal regulation, purview of the state.

 

The Supreme Court decided that because of the political importance of those lawsuits, the state law suppressed free expression and was unconstitutional.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

 

 

Tom, you're not looking at this from the perspective of the Founding Fathers, but rather have adopted the view of the Supreme Court in 1886, who were persuaded by Corporations to recognize personhood. Thomas Paine explained it in the "Rights of Man" 1791:

 

"It has been thought, that government is a compact between those who govern and those who are governed; but this cannot be true, because it is putting the effect before the cause; for as man must have existed before governments existed, there necessarily was a time when governments did not exist, and consequently there could originally exist no governors to form such a compact with. The fact therefore must be, that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”

 

Thus, he explained that any institution made up of humans, from government to churches to corporations must be subordinate to the people in terms of the rights and powers held by an institution. The documentation of what the Founders expressed as their wishes is long and fervent in their belief that monopolies of commerce should be restrained.

 

Prior to 1886, there were state laws in abundance that dictated control over corporations. Indeed, it was this interference that caused corporations to adopt their personhood argument from the 14th Amendment.

 

The NAACP could be redesignated a non-profit corporation for purposes of your argument. I fail to see how we could not accommodate these problems.

 

 

They are already a non-profit corporation, just like Citizens United.

 

I didn't make an argument so much as ask a question. I'm still wondering about the answer.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

 

 

Political expression was absent prior to 1866 and this country survived just fine without corporations influencing speech. Unions and self interest groups do not hold corporate personhood status. They are legal artificial entities but have never entered a court seeking personhood status, they view the courts as home base for their enemies and stay out of the legal arena as much as possible.

 

My turn for a question: Why continue protections for an entity that lives within our constitutional framework and pays unequal taxes, unequal accountability for crime, unequal privacy, unequal access to natural resources, unequal access to Congress, unequal access to the courts. Is Democracy so bad that we can't live as our Founders intended?

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They are already a non-profit corporation, just like Citizens United.

 

 

I didn't make an argument so much as ask a question. I'm still wondering about the answer.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

 

 

Political expression was absent prior to 1866 and this country survived just fine without corporations influencing speech. Unions and self interest groups do not hold corporate personhood status. They are legal artificial entities but have never entered a court seeking personhood status, they view the courts as home base for their enemies and stay out of the legal arena as much as possible.

 

My turn for a question: Why continue protections for an entity that lives within our constitutional framework and pays unequal taxes, unequal accountability for crime, unequal privacy, unequal access to natural resources, unequal access to Congress, unequal access to the courts. Is Democracy so bad that we can't live as our Founders intended?

 

 

Corporate personhood at the federal level was absent prior to 1886, but that doesn't mean corporations were not politically active.

 

By "unions and self-interest groups" above, do you mean the unions Justice Black was talking about in my post above and non-profit corporations like the NAACP and Citizens United? Far from avoiding the courts, the NAACP was the plaintiff in NAACP vs Button and in NAACP vs Alabama. In Button, the corporation asked for corporate personhood status and it was recognized by the court. The court said:

 

Petitioner challenges the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals on many grounds. But we reach only one: that Chapter 33, as construed and applied, abridges the freedoms of the First Amendment, protected against state action by the Fourteenth. [n10] More specifically, petitioner claims that the chapter infringes the right of the NAACP and its members and lawyers to associate for the purpose of assisting persons who seek legal redress for infringements of their constitutionally guaranteed and other rights. We think petitioner may assert this right on its own behalf, because, though a corporation, it is directly engaged in those activities, claimed to be constitutionally protected, which the statute would curtail.

 

 

My answer to your question is the same as always: we exercise our first amendment rights as individuals and as members of groups. Suppression of such group activities cannot take place without suppressing the individuals involved in the group. An individual black person in Virginia back then probably could not have brought the cases that NAACP brought to advance civil rights. Only a group could do it, and only if protected from state-level oppression.

 

The 14th amendment, like all others, was within the intent of the founders, though there are some questions about whether it was properly ratified. Our founders feared democracy as mob rule, but we can continue to live in a Republic as they intended. If we can keep it.

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They are already a non-profit corporation, just like Citizens United.

 

 

I didn't make an argument so much as ask a question. I'm still wondering about the answer.

 

Is political expression one of the rights corporations should lose?

 

 

Political expression was absent prior to 1866 and this country survived just fine without corporations influencing speech. Unions and self interest groups do not hold corporate personhood status. They are legal artificial entities but have never entered a court seeking personhood status, they view the courts as home base for their enemies and stay out of the legal arena as much as possible.

 

My turn for a question: Why continue protections for an entity that lives within our constitutional framework and pays unequal taxes, unequal accountability for crime, unequal privacy, unequal access to natural resources, unequal access to Congress, unequal access to the courts. Is Democracy so bad that we can't live as our Founders intended?

 

 

Corporate personhood at the federal level was absent prior to 1886, but that doesn't mean corporations were not politically active.

 

By "unions and self-interest groups" above, do you mean the unions Justice Black was talking about in my post above and non-profit corporations like the NAACP and Citizens United? Far from avoiding the courts, the NAACP was the plaintiff in NAACP vs Button and in NAACP vs Alabama. In Button, the corporation asked for corporate personhood status and it was recognized by the court. The court said:

 

Petitioner challenges the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals on many grounds. But we reach only one: that Chapter 33, as construed and applied, abridges the freedoms of the First Amendment, protected against state action by the Fourteenth. [n10] More specifically, petitioner claims that the chapter infringes the right of the NAACP and its members and lawyers to associate for the purpose of assisting persons who seek legal redress for infringements of their constitutionally guaranteed and other rights. We think petitioner may assert this right on its own behalf, because, though a corporation, it is directly engaged in those activities, claimed to be constitutionally protected, which the statute would curtail.

 

 

My answer to your question is the same as always: we exercise our first amendment rights as individuals and as members of groups. Suppression of such group activities cannot take place without suppressing the individuals involved in the group. An individual black person in Virginia back then probably could not have brought the cases that NAACP brought to advance civil rights. Only a group could do it, and only if protected from state-level oppression.

 

The 14th amendment, like all others, was within the intent of the founders, though there are some questions about whether it was properly ratified. Our founders feared democracy as mob rule, but we can continue to live in a Republic as they intended. If we can keep it.

 

 

Sorry, I should have restricted my answer to just "unions." Corporations were definitely active prior to the 1886 ruling, the Civil War made a large number of individuals rich and those people did not like states putting rules in front of their business. The 1886 rule wasn't put in place because the nation needed a legal fiction to continue business, it was put in place to put corporations ahead of people.

 

Today, a legal argument could be made that corporations aren't people at all but are slaves to the Board and slaves to shareholders. Justice Stevens said this in his dissent of Citizens United V FEC

 

 

Justice Stevens argued that:

 

... corporations have no consciences,no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. 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.

 

I haven't searched or read any source, but I'm pretty sure that individuals were not prohibited from collectively protecting their legal interests prior to 1886. Just makes sense that we made allowances for groups of people before that time.

 

Does it make any sense to grant those same citizen benefits to foreign corporations? Does it make sense that inanimate legal fictions have greater power than actual citizens? Somewhere in all this corporations have exceeded the rights granted to them and now possess greater rights than the persons for whom the Constitution was written. How do you correct that?

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We were not making such allowances in the early 1960's in Virginia or NAACP vs Button would not have happened. What makes you think we made them earlier?

 

Do we have to treat them all exactly the same, even foreign ones? No, but just as foreigners visiting here have some rights, so do foreign companies.

 

I'm not sure corporations are so all-powerful nor that the granting of rights is something that needs to be corrected. Stevens also said in his concurrence in part/dissent in part:

 

We have long since held that corporations are covered by the First Amendment

 

 

Yes, it makes sense that legal fictions have greater power than individuals. That's why we band together to "help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings" as Justice Stevens said. As I pointed out above, an individual could not have brought the civil rights cases that the NAACP did. You have not explained to me why it is bad that they brought those cases. Want to take a shot at it?

 

Before I suggest a correction, I want to make sure I'm correcting something bad that needs correcting. Why was it bad to recognize the first amendment rights of NAACP Inc back in 1963?

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Was that a yes or a no?

The Bill of Rights was intended to support the notion that people are the root of all power and authority over government. Down the road that became subverted and I would like to return to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

Those companies have zero power over us citizens. Just STOP giving them money and they will disappear. Simple.

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What happened to all of our "corporations are not people" voters?

 

I have a list:

 

I figured this was an important issue. After all,

 

 

 


And

 

...Bernie says it's top of the list. Al Franken wants to amend the constitution. It must be hugely important.

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And I can't find a single person here who wants to defend the minority view of freedom of the press? No one who wants to explain the purpose of the needed constitutional amendment?

When people without a purpose or explanation want to go "fixing" our first amendment, I get very suspicious.

 

The main Supreme Court issue, worthy of amending the constitution over, and at the top of Bernie's list. Sounds important. But I had to say the G word to get any response at all in this thread. Maybe I'll try that again. Here goes:

 

Guns.

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It's a straw man argument. Freedom of the press is one thing. Allowing corporate entities to circumvent the democratic process is another, and that is what you aren't addressing.

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It's a straw man argument. Freedom of the press is one thing. Allowing corporate entities to circumvent the democratic process is another, and that is what you aren't addressing.

 

Freedom of the press is one thing that is part of the first amendment. Does it circumvent the democratic process to apply it to the NY Times Corporation, as in the topic case?

 

Does it circumvent the democratic process to apply the first amendment to NAACP Inc, as happened in 1963? Justice Stevens said:

 

Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their “personhood” often serves as a useful legal fiction.

 

 

Corporate first amendment rights are long-established and I agree with him that they have proven useful.

 

We haven't gotten into the topic you raise, but Justice Stevens also made many good points about the historical usefulness and sometimes even the necessity of identity-based restrictions on freedom of speech. That boils down to: some speakers can say things that others can't.

 

His main point in dissent was that it's perfectly fine for some corporations to be able to $ay things that others can't. It's not a stupid point. It is sensible and historically grounded.

 

The thing is, it raises this very difficult question that Stevens completely sidestepped: if we're going to have a specially-protected corporate class, how do we identify them? Who are "the pre$$" anyway?

 

Abandoning the whole concept of corporate personhood seems to me like blowing up a house in response to a kitchen fire.

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Picking at the metaphor might leave a nasty scab. Care to explain?

 

AWAAQAHQ-P598614.jpg

 

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I still haven't seen ET. If that gives you any idea how lost on me any movie reference will be.

 

And I've never seen Cameron's Titanic. I did see a documentary on it though. The Titanic's pool was still full!

 

Troubling...

 

 

 

Everyone (who wants one) should be able to have an armed drone.

 

A home security drone, a la the cybernetic rat-dog thing in Neal Stephenson's prophetic "Snow Crash," would be nice. A flying rat-dog thing would be even better. One wouldn't have to worry about burglars or home invasions with loyalty like that.

 

There's lots of opportunity here. Imagine corporate drone kiosks that could track a subscriber's movements and stress hormones in the city. Automatically dispatch a drone to ensure the subscriber's safety.

 

It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with.

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Yeah, maybe you're right. I might not remember the right recall code.

 

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This comment from a thread about discrimination law is really more relevant to this thread:

 

 

For free thinking folks who want to read Senator Sanders proposed amendment:

 

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/S.J.Res..pdf

 


Senator Sanders wants to deny constitutional protection to for-profit corporations.

 

So he believes NY Times vs Sullivan should have never happened, since the NY Times is a for-profit corporation and the case was about first amendment rights. Or maybe he thinks freedom of the press is not a right given to natural persons, even those with a pink flag.

 

Either way, I think he's wrong. Bernie is my favorite leftist because he's usually smart and honest, if misguided in my view. This time he's just being stupid and feeding into the stupidity of those who believe overturning Citizens United will somehow make corporations no longer people under the law.

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Before I suggest a correction, I want to make sure I'm correcting something bad that needs correcting. Why was it bad to recognize the first amendment rights of NAACP Inc back in 1963?

 

Although it appeared in another thread, this appears to have been an attempted answer to that question.

 

 

People made things happen in this country hundreds of years before the very idea of corporate personhood was born. Unions did pretty well collectively asserting their rights well before corporations were granted speech and well before the NAACP was even born.

 

 

"People got along fine before it happened" is not an answer to why it was bad. If we're going to correct a mistake, I want to understand the mistake.

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This is Bernie Sanders' proposal:

 

SECTION 1. The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons and do not extend to for-profit corporations, limited liability companies, or other private entities established for business purposes or to promote business interests under the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state..

SECTION 2. Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

SECTION 3. Such corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.

SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have the power to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own spending, and to authorize the establishment of political committees to receive, spend, and publicly disclose the sources of those contributions and expenditures.

 

 

 

If corporate entities do not have the rights of natural persons then it would be impossible for regulations on those corporations to infringe on freedom of the press, would it not?

 

Is freedom of the press one of the rights of natural persons mentioned above?

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Why Corporations are Psychotic

 

A little anti-intellectualism from Psych Today.

 

Senator Bernie Sanders echoed the sentiments of many last week when he called for a constitutional amendment (link is external) to repeal the notion of corporate personhood.

 

 

No, he did not actually do that. As mentioned in another thread, repealing the notion of corporate personhood would make anti-discrimination laws inapplicable to corporations. Bernie is not proposing that.

 

He's not even proposing the much less radical notion of ending corporate first amendment rights. His proposal preserves those for non-profits like the NAACP and Citizens United, as well as shielding for-profit corporations from regulations that would infringe on their corporate first amendment rights to freedom of the pre$$.

 

Words mean things. I doubt that guy knows he's pushing for an end to application of anti-discrimination laws to corporations, but that's what he's doing. A triumph of anti-intellectualism for sure.

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Corporations have no morals, whether good or bad, they have none. The only aim of a corporation is to extract profit from where ever they can. Real people inside corporations have to often put their personal morals aside to earn a living. That is corruption.

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Corporations have no morals, whether good or bad, they have none. The only aim of a corporation is to extract profit from where ever they can. Real people inside corporations have to often put their personal morals aside to earn a living. That is corruption.

 

Ever heard of non-profits?

 

Here, one of my favorite corporations:

 

http://www.charlotteharborcommunitysailingcenter.com/

 

It's working its founder to the bone and extracting his meager resources. It's beautiful. I fear the day it ends.

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Corporations have no morals, whether good or bad, they have none. The only aim of a corporation is to extract profit from where ever they can. Real people inside corporations have to often put their personal morals aside to earn a living. That is corruption.

 

Don't want to talk about non-profits? OK, how about for-profits like the NY Times Corporation?

 

Does their lack of morals mean that they should not have "the rights of natural persons" protected by our Constitution? One of which is, of course, freedom of the pre$$.

 

Senator Sanders says:

 

SECTION 2. Such corporate and other private entities established under law are subject to regulation by the people through the legislative process so long as such regulations are consistent with the powers of Congress and the States and do not limit the freedom of the press.

 

 

How could regulation of an amoral entity interfere in any way with freedom of the press? Freedom of the press is for natural persons! How can regulation of the NY TImes corporation interfere with a right they can't possess?

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Discussion on the finer points is not required. What is required is for corporations to be treated as corporations, not people, then all this other bullshit goes away. With the same rights as people, they will override people because they are not constrained by morals or in most cases finances.

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Yeah, whether or not a newspaper has freedom of the press is a pretty fine point.

 

Sorry for being so obscure.

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No law degree required to work out that a corporation is not a person. The fact that the law can conclude that they are, is the best example available of how corporations run the planet.

 

Forget the non-profits as an example because they usually have a social based reason for being.

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We can forget about whether non-profits like Citizens United and the NAACP have first amendment rights and refuse to discuss it, but that won't stop the courts from discussing those types of corporations. They can reach some pretty significant conclusions and I think you're foolish to want to avoid discussion of how a corporation like Citizens United might come to affect our lives. But OK...

 

 

So do you think a newspaper should have freedom of the press or not?

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When the court ruled in favour of Citizens United they did not explain why. Same old corruption at work, smells like that anyway.

 

Seriously Tom, the US is out of the control of the citizen, you are fucked. The real irony and indicator of how those in charge laugh at you, is the creation of organisations with titles that say the opposite of their aims. Citizens United is their for corporations. Anti-climate change fronts with names like RealScience etc. They are laughing at you and us.

 

When I bother to post on subjects like this, climate, guns, I have no expectation that anything productive will come of it. It is too late, we have a defective operating system that will not change this side of a real catastrophe. Those we have had so far have not been enough. If you need further proof, look at the disappointment of your first black president, the machine rolls on.

 

The 2010 ruling for Citizens United is evidence of who is in charge, they only had to pay for a majority decision and that's what they did.

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When the court ruled in favour of Citizens United they did not explain why.

 

They explained why in truly mind-numbing detail. I guess you didn't read the opinions?

 

Who do you think paid for the decision and how does that work?

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The NY Times is a way more interesting for-profit corporation than Wal Mart.

 

Why?

 

Because you can ask people whether the NY Times should enjoy the rights protected for natural people in the Bill of Rights and get absolutely no response. It's hilarious, at least to me. Sorry if many of you tire of the joke.

 

You could probably end it by answering the question, but that would start an actual discussion.

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Some people can give a clear answer to the question. This seems pretty clear.

 

Corporations are not people. They do not breathe or eat or sleep. They do not dance or fall in love or raise children. They do not go bowling or fight in wars or get cancer. They do not vote. Yet now they threaten to trample democracy by claiming constitutional protections that were intended only for actual people.

 

 

OK, that's clear as a bell. A really nice, crystal one. Constitutional protections are only for actual people.

 

Until you scroll down the page and find this:

What will be the effect of this amendment on the media? Will media corporations keep their First Amendment rights?

The amendment language that we have endorsed would not affect the media. Media corporations would retain their full First Amendment rights when they are engaged in publishing, broadcasting and similar activities. Just like other corporations, however, they would not have the right to sponsor campaign ads or make campaign contributions.

 

 

Oh. So the part at the top of their page should really say:

 

Corporations are not people. They do not breathe or eat or sleep. They do not dance or fall in love or raise children. They do not go bowling or fight in wars or get cancer. They do not vote. Yet now they threaten to trample democracy by claiming constitutional protections that were intended only for actual people, non-profit corporations, and sometimes media corporations.

 

 

That's a little less clear. Maybe we should clarify some things before amending the constitution.

 

Things like: what is a media corporation?

 

What if it's owned by another corporation?

 

Is an editorial endorsement by a media corporation a type of "campaign contribution" or is it protected corporate $peech?

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