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SCOTUS AND CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

by ARGeezer Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 05:21:46 AM EST

SCOTUS NEVER RULED THAT CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE

'Corporations Are People' Is Built on an Incredible 19th-Century Lie
How exactly did corporations come to be understood as "people" bestowed with the most fundamental constitutional rights? The answer can be found in a bizarre--even farcical--series of lawsuits over 130 years ago involving a lawyer who lied to the Supreme Court, an ethically challenged justice, and one of the most powerful corporations of the day. That corporation was the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, owned by the robber baron Leland Stanford. In 1881, after California lawmakers imposed a special tax on railroad property, Southern Pacific pushed back, making the bold argument that the law was an act of unconstitutional discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment.


The head lawyer representing Southern Pacific was a man named Roscoe Conkling. A leader of the Republican Party for more than a decade, Conkling had even been nominated to the Supreme Court twice. He begged off both times, the second time after the Senate had confirmed him. (He remains the last person to turn down a Supreme Court seat after winning confirmation). More than most lawyers, Conkling was seen by the justices as a peer.


It was a trust Conkling would betray. As he spoke before the Court on Southern Pacific's behalf, Conkling recounted an astonishing tale. In the 1860s, when he was a young congressman, Conkling had served on the drafting committee that was responsible for writing the Fourteenth Amendment. Then the last member of the committee still living, Conkling told the justices that the drafters had changed the wording of the amendment, replacing "citizens" with "persons" in order to cover corporations too. Laws referring to "persons," he said, have "by long and constant acceptance ... been held to embrace artificial persons as well as natural persons." Conkling buttressed his account with a surprising piece of evidence: a musty old journal he claimed was a previously unpublished record of the deliberations of the drafting committee.


Years later, historians would discover that Conkling's journal was real but his story was a fraud. The journal was in fact a record of the congressional committee's deliberations but, upon close examination, it offered no evidence that the drafters intended to protect corporations. It showed, in fact, that the language of the equal-protection clause was never changed from "citizen" to "person." So far as anyone can tell, the rights of corporations were not raised in the public debates over the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment or in any of the states' ratifying conventions. And, prior to Conkling's appearance on behalf of Southern Pacific, no member of the drafting committee had ever suggested that corporations were covered.


From lies to misrepresentations - how the Supreme Court not deciding on the corporate personhood argument turned into "The Supreme Court rules corporations are people with civil rights. Southern Pacific settled that case, but then brought another case that raise the very same question, but without introducing Conklin's story about the 14th Ammendment. Hint - Justice Field was a confident of Leland Stanford and advised Southern Pacific on which lawyers to use in this second case.
When the Court issued its decision on this second case, the justices expressly declined to decide if corporations were people. The dispute could be, and was, resolved on other grounds, prompting an angry rebuke from one justice, Stephen J. Field, who castigated his colleagues for failing to address "the important constitutional questions involved." "At the present day, nearly all great enterprises are conducted by corporations," he wrote, and they deserved to know if they had equal rights too.
Curses! Foiled again! So try, try, try again.
So, with Field on the Court, still more twists were yet to come. The Supreme Court's opinions are officially published in volumes edited by an administrator called the reporter of decisions. By tradition, the reporter writes up a summary of the Court's opinion and includes it at the beginning of the opinion. The reporter in the 1880s was J.C. Bancroft Davis, whose wildly inaccurate summary of the Southern Pacific case said that the Court had ruled that "corporations are persons within ... the Fourteenth Amendment." Whether his summary was an error or something more nefarious--Davis had once been the president of the Newburgh and New York Railway Company--will likely never be known.

Field nonetheless saw Davis's erroneous summary as an opportunity. A few years later, in an opinion in an unrelated case, Field wrote that "corporations are persons within the meaning" of the Fourteenth Amendment. "It was so held in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad," explained Field, who knew very well that the Court had done no such thing.

The baleful legal concept of corporate personhood is today blocking progress on democratizing political campaigns. Congress passed and Bush 43 signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2004, which placed limits on corporate contributions. Citizens United v. Federal Election commission constituted an appeal of a lower court decision that had upheld a ban on corporate speech per 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). SCOTUS overturned the act on the basis that it violated the First Amendment rights of the corporation.

While not mentioned in the decision, the very presumption that a corporation had First Amendment rights under the US Constitution goes directly back to Justice Simon Field who wrote that "corporations are persons within the meaning" of the Fourteenth Amendment. "It was so held in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad,".

Without that presumption of corporate citizenship Citizens United would have had to demonstrate that its client even had standing to bring this challenge. But a corporate officer or major shareholder, acting in their capacity of a US Citizen, absent violation of any applicable campaign contributions on individuals, could have legally paid for the same communication, at least by my understanding of that law. That would have at least made the source of the funding public via FEC filings, even if after a significant delay.

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 It is hard to know what, if any, effect this will have on law surrounding the civil rights of Corporations. I do not know the effect of a decision explicitly relying on and citing a precedent that turns out not to have existed. I can see a good argument for passing legislation reining in Corporations - if we ever get a majority in Congress who can withstand the threats, blandishments and bribes of corporate lobbyists.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 05:27:35 AM EST
This has been known for a long time, and hasn't had any effect so far.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 05:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Must have missed the reports. Do you have any links?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 04:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I do find Justice Stephen Field mentioned in Richard White's superby 'Railroaded' chapter 'Spatial Politics', p.170 paperback:
The San Francisco merchants joined an anti-monopoly crusade led by the Democrats that swept the California elections of 1882. The nearly immediate defection of their new railroad commissioners was not what they had expected. And they were even more dismayed by two decisions of Judge Stephen Field. The Southern Pacific had nearly crippled many counties by refusing to pay taxes. Litigation culminated in County of San Mateo v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (1882)and County of Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1883)which famously voided the tax bills for charging different rates for corporations vs. noncorporate owners and ruled that a corporation was a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment and entitled to all constitutional protections. Field, whom his fellow California Democrat Stephen Mallory White called "one of the most dishonest characters that has ever discharged the function of a judicial office," was one of the Associates most reliable judicial friends.

Fundamental democratic principles were at stake in Field's decisions. Governor George Stoneman challenged Field's conflation of corporate persons with actual living breathing citizens, arguing that the state had a right to distinguish between "the natural person...who is part of the Government" and the "artificial person, which is but a creature of the Government."Field's decision trampled logic and a core democratic practice that stretched back to the founding  of the republic: "lodging in the legislature, and the legislature alone, the right to determine taxes.

Now we can see that Stoneman actually carried the day and the Justices DID NOT RULE THAT CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE. Instead, a former railroad president was made Recorder of Decisions and falsely characterized that decision, with Field LATER knowingly relying on that mischaracterized summary in a SUBSEQUENT decision which established the precedent.

It is correct to blame Fields but it is also important to point out what the full court did and did not decide. Field accomplished the desired end but only with the assistance of Davis, the Recorder of Decisions. This was not decided even by a sub panel of the Court - just one justice. This should, at least in point of law, make overturning this decision easier. But the real problem has to do with point of money.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:10:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 This 'precedent' was obtained with patience, determination and, almost certainly, the help of well paid friends. Attorneys for SP and, quite likely, Field himself, advised SP to settle the first case, fearing that, should Conklin's fabrications ever be made well known, it would prejudice their cause. So a second case was brought, but it too failed to get the desired result, establishment of corporate personhood. Then Davis prepared a false summary of that case, some time passed, and Field knowingly relied on that false summary in writing a decision that did become a precedent. Given the tenor of the times I would be surprised had Field been the only justice on the court to have benefited significantly from the largess of the railroad companies.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:46:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only precendents in common law are those provided by the US judiciary out of thin air. Members of US Congress do not establish precendent. (This is where the author is supposed to pull "separation of powers" out of his ass.)

You don't have to like it. The precedent does not have to be "just." The US Congress has a constitutional prerogative to enact legislation that circumvents SCOTUS opinion. And the executive branch has a constitutional prerogative to enforce enacted US law.

But that has not happened, except for antitrust actions taken by "persons" or the DOJ to limit the supposed property rights of known and unknown people ("real US personas" BWAH!) doing-business-as a "corporation."

That said, crypto-libertarians and mystics often invoke knowledge of "original intent", for example, "The Woman Card

After Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Stanton and Anthony gathered four hundred thousand signatures on petitions demanding the Thirteenth Amendment. They then began fighting for the Fourteenth Amendment, which they expected to guarantee the rights and privileges of citizenship for all Americans. Instead, they were told that "this is the Negro's hour," and that the amendment would include the word "male," so as to specifically exclude women. "Do you believe the African race is composed entirely of males?" Stanton asked Wendell Phillips. And then she warned, "If that word `male' be inserted, it will take us a century at least to get it out."
and this peculiar interpretation of discrimination, The Sex Amendment, How women got in on the Civil Rights Act.
Griffiths had anticipated this moment, and she was prepared. She had been in Congress since 1955; she had also been a member of the N.W.P. She answered Celler with the N.W.P. line. If you pass this bill, she said, "you are going to have white men in one bracket, you are going to try to take colored men and colored women and give them equal employment rights, and down at the bottom of the list is going to be a white woman with no rights at all." The law would protect a black woman from employment discrimination on account of race, but not a white woman. Other congresswomen rose to join Griffiths.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The court could have just invented the right of women to vote, and leave it to Congress (by then elected by women as well) to reverse it. That's basically what the Swiss court did with Appenzell Innerrhoden (in 1991...) even though the canton was clearly (2050 votes to 105) against women's sufrage.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only precendents in common law are those provided by the US judiciary out of thin air. Members of US Congress do not establish precendent.

Granted, but the US Constitution and legal code is NOT common law. So courts inherently have to find law when they encounter issues not covered by existing law. And then those 'found' laws become part of the judicial tradition. But such findings are subject to subsequent judicial review and/or revision by legislation.

Given their current compositions neither the US Congress or SCOTUS seems likely to pass laws or find that there is cause to overturn corporate citizenship. But noticing that railroad tracks run directly through the process that led to the current situation, along with a careful examination of the previous train wreck at this location, at the least, lays the groundwork for legislation if/when a forthcoming congress is elected. Just again travel along those same routes that got us here but with a different intent in mind. And beware of the same old tricks.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 07:28:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Granted [!], but US Constitution and legal code is NOT common law

Yes, I know. I previously wrote, "common law" and not for my edification alone. Common law is the body of judicial interpretation of statutes, ie. US Constitution, states' and federal criminal and civil codes, AND the canon known as Restatements.

Common-law courts base their decisions on prior judicial pronouncements rather than on legislative enactments. Where a statute governs the dispute, judicial interpretation of that statute determines how the law applies. Common-law judges rely on their predecessors' decisions of actual controversies, rather than on abstract codes or texts, to guide them in applying the law. Common-law judges find the grounds for their decisions in law reports, which contain decisions of past controversies. Under the doctrine of Stare Decisis, common-law judges are obliged to adhere to previously decided cases, or precedents, where the facts are substantially the same.

I've gone on and on to demonstrate to eurotrib readers with contemporary decisions on the most trivial and profound issues the procedural bases of litigation and adjudication-- findings of fact and findings of law-- one cannot "break" the rules if one does not know the rules.

I have suggested cases --typically US federal inter- and intra- agency disputes-- where US executive branch removes adjudication from common law and US constitutional precedents to administrative law courts.

And I mentioned Marbury v. Madison (1807), mother of all precedents at least once to emphasize --US judiciary branch, since Marshall decided out of thin air, is the sole arbiter of law, its meaning and application(s). This process of interpretation is recursive.

So courts inherently have to find law when they encounter issues not covered by existing law.

No. As agreed, a court refers to common law ("findings of law", citations of opinion, orders, judgments) for authority interpret the meaning and applicability of a statute.

The fact remains, as I said, neither branches of US gov have attempted definitively to remedy what these authors claim to be some miscarriage of "justice." From the opinion in fact.

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. "

res ipsa loquitor: "Corporations are people" until statute says it is not. And if it does not, whose "fault" is it?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 08:53:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jane Meyer in The New Yorker ...

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency
    How Robert Mercer exploited America's populist insurgency.

Potter, a Republican, sees Mercer as emblematic of a major shift in American politics that has occurred since 2010, when the Supreme Court made a controversial ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Justed posted this in a new diary @BooMan - Bigger than Putin.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:24:58 AM EST
The switch from "citizens" to "persons" also gives Putin equal rights - maybe that argument could be used to fix it?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 07:16:57 AM EST
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.
I've no reason to believe, putin is a US citizen. (This sentence, btw, affirms "supremacy clause" case law while acknowledging "states' rights" reserved by 10th Amd.)
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;
Ergo, a state may enforce any law which denies him privileges and immunities in its jurisdiction,
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.
excepting any state's law which conflicts with any provisions of the US Constitution AND US civil and criminal codes, namely putin's alleged crimes, lately known as an "adversarial" disposition to US whathaveyou.

So. Both terms subject putin to either malevolence or beneficence of US --not states'-- jurisprudence.

Which is the premise of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific R. Co., 118 U.S. 394 (1886) in deciding the property rights of a corporation expressly established by state and federal laws for state and federal purposes during that glorious period of generosity and "settler/colonizer" expansion across the western states.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:06:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On  Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific R. Co., 118 U.S. 394 (1886) see my subsequent comment above, based on meticulous research by Richard White in 'Railroaded'.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:15:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So does this mean that only US corporations have the rights of persons in the US? What does that imply for Canadian-Brazilian (if I'm up to date) Burger King?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:28:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting. Perhaps this question is overdue for clarification. However, I fear the likely outcome of the present largely Republican appointed judiciary and the present congress is hopeless on this issue. Any remedies either would devise likely would be to help the corporations. 2019 might find us in a different situation - at least in regard to corporations. Imagine the effects of a law that stipulated only corporations with headquarters in the USA and with US citizens serving as CEO and Chairman of the Board could claim US personhood. But far better would be just to void the entire concept of corporate person-hood and civil rights by new legislation. Either type of legislation might even get right wing support. Populism can be a two edged sword.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 09:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So does this mean that only US corporations have the rights of persons in the US?

Short answer: No.

What does that imply for Canadian-Brazilian ... Burger King?

3G Capital Partners is a holding company, or "parent company". Its "jurisdiction of incorporation" is Delaware, USA. The "jurisdictions of incorporation" of its several subsidiary companies ("Group members") vary by business type, for example, subsidiary investment companies in Cayman and Hong Kong and

Restaurant Brands International Inc. is incorporated in Canada,
of which controlling interest in
Burger King Holdings, Inc, a franchise restaurant business incorporated in Delaware, USA.

The people who own these companies enjoy rights and responsibilities for operating license in each "jurisdiction of incorporation."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 11:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see that 3G Holdings is a US Corporation from the SEC filing and am assuming that Burger King is one of the Brands. If so, Burger King would enjoy the privileges of US citizenship via the umbrella extended by 3G Holdings.

But that says nothing about non-US domiciled corporations. What is the basis for "The short answer is no."?
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2018 at 02:41:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Q1: "So does this mean that only US corporations have the rights of persons in the US?"
A1: No.

"Foreign" corporations operating in the USA acquire the rights of persons by duly incorporating business activities in the USA. In effect the question attempts a distinction without difference.

I am unable to speak to comparative legal treatments by nation. But I will assume, readers are aware of some jurisdictional conflict which emerged from negotiation of TTIP, namely subversion of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration to remove "sovereign" judicial authority.

The fashion in business press of referring to *-based corporation is mostly moot. Transnational (also multinational) operations, legal status, tax identities, and employment of people is the descriptor writers want to avoid reminding readers who are hostile to the purported benefits of "global" trade, not to mention their own part in and dependence on it.

As demonstrated, the jurisdictions of incorporation for each subsidiary company may vary, ostensibly, according to the business needs of the owners. By "business needs" I mean, legal accommodation in terms of time and money to facilitate predictable operations of a particular subsidiary.

In this way a "foreign" corporation acquires certain rights granted persons in the "foreign" country where it operates. So for example a corp may append to a subsidiary's name "USA", "N.A." (Canada and USA), "Brazil", "S.A.", and so forth, eg. DIAGEO CAPITAL PLC [1, 2] "domiciled" in UK, "d/b/a" Diageo North America, Inc, incorporated in Delaware, USA.

Or it may name the business something different as with 3G CAPITAL -> RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL -> BURGER KING HOLDINGS, INC.

DIAGEO is not the only example. One has only to search EDGAR, the SEC database, to retrieve identities of "foreign" business incorporated in the USA --keywords company name or ticker symbol and "jurisdiction of incorporation". FDIC also maintains a searchable database of every state- AND national-chartered "banking" institution.

"Certain" denotes the set of privileges, protections, and obligations granted by law (read: statute in the first instance) on condition of satisfactory compliance with another set of regulations (in the second instance) that are peculiar to its license(s) to conduct certain commercial activities.

Now, note how jurisdictional arbitrage arises because corporate officers (i) hide or diversify assets (including but not limited to the individual officers responsible for an offense) among subsidiaries and (ii) dispute governing authority where the offense actually occurred.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Mar 8th, 2018 at 05:09:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Top Court Throws Out Corporate Sovereignty For All Trade Deals Within EU; Those Involving Other Nations Likely To Suffer Same Fate
what ISDS is: an assertion that the rights of corporates can trump those of entire countries. That's achieved by means of special tribunals that exist outside national legal systems, and which can effectively over-rule them. Many people think this is a really bad idea, and in an important new ruling, the EU's top court has just agreed (pdf):
the Court concludes that the arbitration clause in the BIT [bilateral investment treaty] has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with EU law.
m'k. This ruling is not entirely surprising since the EC has taken steps to enforce "jurisdiction of incorporation" by EU nationality in the airline industry. The principle test is proportion of shares outstanding ("controlling interest" in a company) owned by "real" EU-member citizens.

iirc, x ≧10% in USA (PUHCA, repealed 2005), x ≧ 50% in EU (per ECAA)

archived
Interpretative guidelines on Regulation (EC)1008/2008 - Rules on Ownership and Control of EU air carriers AUG 2017

4. The two elements, i.e. ownership in excess of 50% as well as effective control, by Member States or their nationals are distinct and cumulative, i.e. both have to be met at all times.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 9th, 2018 at 08:54:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another reason to be glad of the existence of the EU. Now if they would just DO SOMETHING about the huge attractive nuisance of The Euro!


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 10th, 2018 at 05:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's all you got?

Let me help you understand the pertinent authorities in effect.
Revolutionizing European law: A history of the Van Gend en Loos judgment, a well-researched exposition

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 10th, 2018 at 11:20:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A few paragraphs explaining how the Citizen's United ruling utilised this non-existent precedent in arriving at its conclusions would be useful. Also a paragraph on what effects the Citizen's right judgement has has had so far would be good for non-legally literate foreigners.

The key issue for me seems to be that a corporation can be literally anything - a front for a Mafia or Russian state misinformation or money laundering operation for example.  Can a corporation commit murder? Did SCOTUS seriously intend to give them equal rights?

If corporations are persons, does that mean they can vote? Can they be drafted for military service? Does it prevent Trump discriminating against foreign owned corporations in tariff decisions? Can Scotus directly reverse an earlier ruling, or would that require a constitutional amendment for SCOTUS to save face?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 7th, 2018 at 06:16:52 PM EST
Citizens United v. Federal Election commission constituted an appeal of a lower court decision that had upheld a ban on corporate speech per   §203  of  the  Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). SCOTUS overturned the act on the basis that it violated the First Amendment rights of the corporation. While not mentioned in the decision, the very presumption that a corporation had First Amendment rights under the US Constitution goes directly back to Justice Simon Field who wrote that "corporations are persons within the meaning" of the Fourteenth Amendment. "It was so held in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad,".

Without that presumption of corporate citizenship Citizens United would have had to demonstrate that its client even had standing to bring this challenge. But a corporate officer or major shareholder, acting in their capacity of a US Citizen, absent violation of any applicable campaign contributions on individuals, could have legally paid for the same communication, at least by my understanding of that law. That would have at least made the source of the funding public via FEC filings, even if after a significant delay.
   

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 10th, 2018 at 08:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing to come out of this thread is that Corporate Personhood can be abolished by a majority of the House of Representatives, 60% of the Senate and a POTUS willing to sign the resulting legislation. This should be the response to Citizens United.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 8th, 2018 at 05:48:20 AM EST
I edited my comment describing the effect of corporate citizenship into the body of the post.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 11th, 2018 at 06:17:33 AM EST
Bank of the United States v. Deveaux, 9 U.S. 61 (1809), John Marshall for the majority
The Court feels itself authorized by the case in 12 Mod. on a question of jurisdiction, to look to  the character of the individuals who compose the corporation, and it thinks that the precedents of this Court, though they were not decisions on argument, ought not to be absolutely disregarded. If a corporation may sue in the courts of the union, the Court is of opinion that the averment in this case is sufficient.  Being authorized to sue in it corporate name, it could make the averment, and it must apply to the plaintiffs as individuals, because it could not be true as applied to the corporation.

Affirming the supremacy of the court, qualification for US citizenship, and distinguishing "real" persons without any appeal to First Amendment. For that interpretation of assembly or association US persons will wait 150 years for Harlan, NAACP v Alabama.

The USA was established to free merchants and pirates from the shackles of the English monarchy. Do. Not. Ever. Forget. That.

archived
Corporations are not people?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Mar 14th, 2018 at 05:08:59 AM EST


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