Corporations Are People

Should the government be able to perform a search on a corporation's property without probable c


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Saorsa

Super Anarchist
36,759
417
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.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,185
4,349
Kent Island!
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.

 
1,613
0
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.

 

Sol Rosenberg

Girthy Member
90,485
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Earth
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.

 
1,613
0
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?

 

mr_fabulous

Super Anarchist
3,716
0
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.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,951
1,625
Punta Gorda FL
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.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,951
1,625
Punta Gorda FL
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?

 

Sol Rosenberg

Girthy Member
90,485
9,029
Earth
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."

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,951
1,625
Punta Gorda FL
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.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
60,951
1,625
Punta Gorda FL
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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