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    Citizens United Weighs Heavily On Their Bumpers

    Citizens United Weighs Heavily On Their Bumpers

    The Citizens United case weighs very, very heavily on their minds and their bumpers.

    Spotted in Ithaca today:

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    WasDave–Justice Stevens dissent was based in law, and made all kinds of sense to me, but my fundamental objection is common sense.

    Corporations are legal constructs that are not directly accountable to the people who own it or the people employed by it. Because of this, rights bestowed on the construct are not an extension acknowledgement of the rights of the citizens who might own stock (and run the obvious risk of overriding the will of these actual citizens to protect the only-monetary interests of non-citizens, the holdings of other corporate entities, and so on). Unlike persons, the corporation is a construct with a narrowly defined purpose and the potential for perpetual being. It will never be burdened or wizened by the knowledge of its own mortality.
    That last is the slap in the face.

    When has /Separation of Church and State/ meant /Separation of Observable Reality and State/. To date, mortality is the one thing every human being has had in common. It is our fundamental and shared context. And it's been the ground upon which all
    meaning and civil agreements have been forged. If you'll never die, who cares if you make a U-turn in front of on-coming cars. If you don't die, who cares if you destroy the gulf coast because it gives you a short term competitive advantage. Building civilization has been in the shared interest of human beings because they shared this one thing– mortality.

    This very physical vulnerability is the ground on which life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and all the rest has meaning. No matter how you acknowledge it and whatever you think does or doesn't come next, it's the human bottom line. Corporate constructs have another… bottom line. It's as simple as that. To call them persons is an insult to those of us who bleed and have evolved empathy on account of this.

    And yet "The People" form Corporations!

    (Isn't there something about the right to peaceably assemble?)

    "'Groups of people' with amassed resources for the purpose of increasing return on investment isn't the same thing as a group of people with shared political interest. Obviously."

    Not obvious at all. Explain it.

    If my condominium association petitions the township for something — say a new stop sign, or a traffic light at the entrance to our development, or even to be handed ownership of our roads so we can "gate" the community — are we a group of people united for a financial interest or for a political interest?

    If a group of publishers petition against a law they feel would amount to prior restraint and an undue burden on their business, are they a group of people united for financial interest or for a political interest?

    Is there really a difference? I'd say not, particularly when so many people insist on using the government to enforce/create financial advantages for themselves.

    "Unlike persons, the corporation is a construct with a narrowly defined purpose and the potential for perpetual being. It will never be burdened or wizened by the knowledge of its own mortality.
    That last is the slap in the face. "

    That makes absolutely no sense. A corporation doesn't "know" anything, as it's simply a collection of people.

    I think you're babbling nonsense, Laurie, not common sense. Corporations are made of people. Citizens United simply extends political rights to groups that happen to be PRIMARILY organized around a business interest.

    (And if we should remove political rights from groups because they're organized for profit, that means every professional organization, every industry organization, every UNION…)

    Laurie,

    You didn't answer the question. Corporate personhood is a concept that goes at least as far back as 1886 with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. It's a fair topic for discussion, but it's established legal precedent.What is it about this case that is a slap in my face. You haven't answered that, you've just demagogued corporations.


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