Slave or Master

Rumors abound here in Washington that today’s the day the U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission — a case that has the potential to notably change campaign finance laws at the federal level. (Most notably, the decision could allow unlimited corporate funds to be used for political expenditures.) Now, we had a few false alarms last month. Court decisions that were supposed to come down didn’t. But since it’s been nearly three months since the case’s oral arguments, brush up on the battle here, here and here. And check back here later today for coverage and analysis of the decision — if there’s anything to cover.

Will a corporation continue to be regarded he same rights as a living breathing human being or will it finally come to an end?

these nine people will decide if you are a slave to the system or the master of your life

Reclaiming Democracy

Wiki – Corporate Personhood Debate

Corporate Personhood

The word “corporation” or “company,” or the words “political party,” do not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. How then can these two excluded corporate institutions have such power over Americans who, as “real people,” are the only “persons” protected and given rights under our Constitution?

Corporations are artificial legal entities. They are not human beings. They do not vote. They do not breathe. They do not have children. They do not die in Iraq. Why have they been given all the rights under our Constitution, except for the right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, and why did they obtain these rights from judges, not from the legislature?

I put these and other questions in writing to Justice Antonin Scalia — deemed an extremely conservative judge who believes in “originalism,” or strict interpretation of the Constitution.

Recently, Justice Scalia and I caught up together on the phone: I asked him how the application of the Bill of Rights and related constitutional protections to the artificial creations known as corporations can be squared with a constitutional interpretation theory of “originalism?”

Justice Scalia said he had not put much thought into unconstitutional corporate personhood, but if a case was brought before him on the topic, he would be happy to delve into it.

Unconstitutional corporate personhood is the central issue that prevents equal justice under the law and provides privileges and immunities to corporations completely outside of the framers’ frame of reference in that large hot room in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787.

The $700 billion blank check bailout of Wall Street is the latest manifestation of private corporate domination of our national government, a situation that Franklin Delano Roosevelt foresaw as “fascism” in a message to Congress in 1938. The relentless decline in the livelihood of America’s working families and growing unemployed reflects the radical concentration of power and wealth in a few hands.

To turn back this tide, the first step is for someone among the legal community — the sooner the better — to bring a case centering on unconstitutional corporate personhood to the fore on the floor of the Supreme Court.

And then, perhaps, Justice Scalia’s originalism can be brought to bare on restoring justice and allowing the Constitution’s words “we the people,” to once again ring true.

From Nader Urges Courts to Challenge Constitutionality of Corporate Personhood
October 27, 2008

Letter to Justice Scalia

Nader’s Stump Speech on Corporate Personhood 2008

To see our call to crack down on corporate crime, click here.

In 1886 the Supreme Court, in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, was interpreted to have ruled that corporations were “persons”—before women were considered persons under the 19th amendment to have the right to vote.

Ever since, corporations have enjoyed most of the same constitutional rights granted to real people.

But corporations are not humans. They don’t vote. They don’t have children. They don’t die in Iraq.

The people who work for the corporations are of course real people, but the corporate “entity” should never be given equal constitutional rights to real human beings.

Even Business Week magazine, in a 2000 editorial, declared that “corporations should get out of politics.”

We cannot have equal justice under law between real people and corporations like Exxon Mobil.

Multinational corporations can be in 1000 places around the world at the same time obstructing governments, states, buying and renting politicians, and going to Washington to get bailed out by taxpayers.

Congress did not legislate corporate personhood. The courts performed this jolting display of runaway activism all by themselves.

The courts destroyed the semblance of equal protection under law because there is no way even an individual billionaire can approximate the raw power of these large corporations with their privileged immunities, and their control over technology, capital and labor.

Nader/Gonzalez will work to end corporate personhood.

Nader/Gonzalez will work to subordinate the artificial corporate entity to the constitutional sovereignty of the people.

Right now it is the reverse. The sovereignty of the people is subordinated to the sovereignty of the giant multinational corporations.

But the constitution still reads, “we the people”, not we the corporations.

Corporations were chartered in the early nineteenth century by state governments to be our servants, not our masters.

They are now our masters.

Time to restore the supremacy of real people.

Twelve Steps to an Effective Crackdown on Corporate Crime



Filed under business, congress, justice, nader, News, scotus, social epistemology

3 responses to “Slave or Master

  1. I recently finished reading the book “Nine the Recent History of the Supreme Court” and I have little doubt where the intellectual bias is on the court. I suggest that the majority opinion will be penned by Roberts himself and we will all settle into living in the Corporate States of America.


  2. Pingback: Stop Corporate Personhood « "No doubt about it- that nut's a genius"

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