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Ahmad Al-Shagra

Collateral Murder - 0 views

    A classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff.
david derouen

Ultimate Civics » Blog Archive » Corporations Are Not Persons - 0 views

    By Ralph Nader & Carl J. Mayer
    New York Times, April 9, 1988

    Our constitutional rights were intended for real persons, not artificial creations. The Framers knew about corporations but chose not to mention these contrived entities in the Constitution. For them, the document shielded living beings from arbitrary government and endowed them with the right to speak, assemble, and petition.

    Today, however, corporations enjoy virtually the same umbrella of constitutional protections as individuals do. They have become in effect artificial persons with infinitely greater power than humans. This constitutional equivalence must end.

    Consider a few noxious developments during the last 10 years. A group of large Boston companies invoked the First Amendment in order to spend lavishly and thus successfully defeat a referendum that would have permitted the legislature to enact a progressive income tax that had no direct effect on the property and business of these companies. An Idaho electrical and plumbing corporation cited the Fourth Amendment and deterred a health and safety investigation. A textile supply company used Fifth Amendment protections and barred retrial in a criminal anti-trust case in Texas.

    The idea that the Constitution should apply to corporations as it applies to humans had its dubious origins in 1886. The Supreme Court said it did "not wish to hear argument" on whether corporations were "persons" protected by the 14th Amendment, a civil rights amendment designed to safeguard newly emancipated blacks from unfair government treatment. It simply decreed that corporations were persons.

    Now that is judicial activism. A string of later dissents, by Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas, demonstrated that neither the history nor the language of the 14th Amendment was meant to protect corporations. But it was too late. The genie was out of the bottle and the corporate evolution into personhood was under way.

    It was not until the 1970's that corporations
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