Corporations as people

November 6, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More proposes that we amend the U.S. Constitution using language similar to the following:

Amendment XXVIII

Section 1. The sovereign right of the people to govern being essential to a free democracy, the First Amendment shall not be construed to limit the authority of Congress and the States to define, regulate, and restrict the spending and other activity of any corporation, limited liability entity, or other corporate entity created by state or federal law or the law of another nation.

Section 2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

Here’s why we need an amendment akin to the above:


Category: Civil Rights, Law, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (4)

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    First off, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

    I recently read that in the case of "Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad" the root precedent for all corporate constitutional rights decisions, the courts did not establish that corporations were persons under the constitutional definition of a person. The concept of the corporate having the same constitutional as a person is based on case summary and verbiage added by the court clerk at the time.

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    Guys, I've written and spoken for a long time about how the treatment of corporations under the law has been a creeping form of fascism in America. It started with Dartmouth College v. Woodward in 1815, which decision gave rise to the modern American business corporation.

    We'll likely see that downfall of individual rights versus corporations when the U.S. Supreme Court decides in the next several weeks whether individuals may challenge blanket arbitration clauses in consumer contracts.

    The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit weighed in favor of the individuals; I expect the Roberts Court to continue it destruction of individual rights and side with the corporadoes here, again.

    In addition to an amendment to de-personalize corporations, we REALLY need to impeach justices Roberts and Alito!

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Chris Hedges at Truthdig:

    "More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money—hundreds of billions of dollars—is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury."

    He also takes a swipe at free market fundamentalism:

    "Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace."

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