View Poll Results: Should Corproations have "personhood" rights?

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  • Yes, corporations are just like a person

    18 18.18%
  • No, corporations are not just like a person

    81 81.82%
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Thread: Corporate Personhood

  1. #591
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    I don't recall that, maybe you misunderstood me. But it doesn't matter. Religious groups and news media companies are groups, and they have constitutional rights. That's what I'm saying now.
    Then we are back to you not really understanding the Constitution. "Religion" and "the Press" are ideas.

    So it is possible for a group to have rights.
    Currently yes. I'm saying it is wrong though.

    So you can't just assume that a right is only for an individual, since the constitution does recognize group rights too. Groups were contemplated as having rights right there in the same amendment, and there is no reason to think they can't have the right of speech. Groups even have rights to written speech (the press).
    Again you are misinterpreting, not only the Constitution but the 1st amendment. "religion" and "the press" are ideas.

    If you worked for the NYT and someone asked who you worked for, would you say "I work for the press" or would you say "I work for the NYT"?

    If they asked you what industry you worked in would you say "the press" (or today we would probably say the media) or would you say "the NYT"?

    Can you see the difference? One is an idea the other is a corporation.
    The First Amendment clearly states that there will be no laws restricting speech.

    Period.
    For people, the press and religion. Nothing else is listed, period.

  2. #592
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Then we are back to you not really understanding the Constitution. "Religion" and "the Press" are ideas.
    But religious and press groups have those freedoms.

    If you worked for the NYT and someone asked who you worked for, would you say "I work for the press" or would you say "I work for the NYT"?
    Both.

    If they asked you what industry you worked in would you say "the press" (or today we would probably say the media) or would you say "the NYT"?
    Both.

    Can you see the difference? One is an idea the other is a corporation.
    If you said " does the NYT have freedom of the press" would you say no?

    Does that mean the government could shut down the NYT?

    For people, the press and religion. Nothing else is listed, period.
    The language is very clear - no restrictions on speech. Period.

  3. #593
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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    Again you make a strawman argument. Running an ad for toothpaste (a product the company makes or markets) is very different than running an ad that says something political.
    But that's what we're talking about - running political ads!

    This is a good point but, the government already does limit political speech from said groups and parties.
    Whoa there! No it doesn't.

    BTW, political groups are simply people who are politically minded the same. I don't think they should have any additional free speech rights than they already possess as citizens.
    Right. Same goes for corporations. No additional rights, just the same.

    Political parties are, well, political parties. We the people make an exception for them so that we can understand their candidates and platform so that we can make an educated choice on where to place our vote.
    We make an exception? Where is this exception in the Constitution?

    If corporations or groups have no rights because they aren't specifically mentioned in the Constitution, how can parties have them? They aren't mentioned either.

    This is dealing with the body politic directly as opposed to a corporation that wants to run a political ad.
    Point to the legal or constitutional principle that says there is a difference.
    Last edited by misterman; 02-03-10 at 07:17 PM.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    OK, well you're just being obtuse so I see no reason to try to educate you. You skip all the things you get nailed on like the money=speech thing, etc., so you're not really interested in honest debate on this subject any more.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by NoJingoLingo View Post
    OK, well you're just being obtuse so I see no reason to try to educate you. You skip all the things you get nailed on like the money=speech thing, etc., so you're not really interested in honest debate on this subject any more.
    I think I've been one of the most honest, straightforward, informed people on this thread.

    I invited you to show me where the court said that money = speech, so you could "nail" me on it. I'm still waiting.

    Also waiting for you to tell me what law or section of the constitution says that "we the people" made an exception to normal constitutional rights by excluding corporations.
    Last edited by misterman; 02-03-10 at 10:13 PM.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Also waiting for you to tell me what law or section of the constitution says that "we the people" made an exception to normal constitutional rights by excluding corporations.
    It doesn't have to say it--the fact that it never mentions corporations should be enough. Conservatives regularly insist that the Constitution be read strictly, and they chastise people on the left for reading in to that document meanings that don't appear. The Court had done precisely this in the most recent case.

    "Normal constitutional rights" are not granted to corporations--mostly because corporations didn't exist at the time it was written. No one anticipated the growth of corporations. "Combinations" (the term commonly used then) were considered dubious and even dangerous at the time. There's no reason to assume that where the Constitution says "persons" it also means "combinations of persons." That's inventing out of whole cloth.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    It doesn't have to say it--the fact that it never mentions corporations should be enough.
    Well, no, that's not enough - especially since it doesn't really leave any room for interepretation in that regard. It simply says Congress shall make NO law...abridging freedom of speech.

    But my question was aimed at Jingo's claim that "we the people" had decided to exclude corporations from having rights. I asked where that was stated anywhere in law.

    Conservatives regularly insist that the Constitution be read strictly, and they chastise people on the left for reading in to that document meanings that don't appear. The Court had done precisely this in the most recent case.
    No, you're the one reading into it. You're reading an exception to the words "NO LAW."

    "Normal constitutional rights" are not granted to corporations--mostly because corporations didn't exist at the time it was written.
    This is false. Corporations have many constitutional rights, as the courts have held for over a century.

    No one anticipated the growth of corporations. "Combinations" (the term commonly used then) were considered dubious and even dangerous at the time. There's no reason to assume that where the Constitution says "persons" it also means "combinations of persons." That's inventing out of whole cloth.
    No it's not. You wouldn't say a combination of persons in the form of a newspaper (incorporated most likely) or a church or other religious group has no constitutional rights (the press and religion respectively) would you? Or political parties?

    There is no reason to think the Founding Fathers thought that groups of people, in whatever legal form, would somehow lose their rights because they join together as a group. Just the opposite.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Well, no, that's not enough - especially since it doesn't really leave any room for interepretation in that regard. It simply says Congress shall make NO law...abridging freedom of speech.
    You have a point, though I would still argue that corporations have morphed into a shape and status that would leave any 18th century lawmaker appalled.
    But my question was aimed at Jingo's claim that "we the people" had decided to exclude corporations from having rights. I asked where that was stated anywhere in law.
    It's an interesting question, but let's start with the fact that rights are not granted by law. They are granted by the Constitution, which does not mention the word "corporation."
    No, you're the one reading into it. You're reading an exception to the words "NO LAW."
    You're right. I would argue this case is not so much about speech but about how money can be used to further speech. The Founders lived in a world where the ability to speak was not differentiated by wealth nearly so much as it is today. The mass media have complicated the question of speech well beyond the imagination of our founders. We've done the best we can with it, but I'd say we've made some errors. This is one.
    This is false. Corporations have many constitutional rights, as the courts have held for over a century.
    Really? What rights do they have? Which rights are they denied? Corporations exist in the forms prescribed by law and are completely the spawn of law. It's my opinion that they have grown to an inconvenient shape and should be reigned in. The corporation should be our servant but it has become our master.
    No it's not. You wouldn't say a combination of persons in the form of a newspaper (incorporated most likely) or a church or other religious group has no constitutional rights (the press and religion respectively) would you? Or political parties?
    I'd say none of those things has rights, though the individuals within them do.

    There is no reason to think the Founding Fathers thought that groups of people, in whatever legal form, would somehow lose their rights because they join together as a group. Just the opposite.
    How have the anti-corporate arguments here suggested that any individual lose his/her rights? I just don't think that individuals should have INCREASED political rights through their participation in combinations.

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    It's an interesting question, but let's start with the fact that rights are not granted by law. They are granted by the Constitution, which does not mention the word "corporation."
    The First Amendment doesn't mention people either! Except for the right of the people to peacably assemble. (Presumably forming a group.)

    You're right. I would argue this case is not so much about speech but about how money can be used to further speech. The Founders lived in a world where the ability to speak was not differentiated by wealth nearly so much as it is today. The mass media have complicated the question of speech well beyond the imagination of our founders. We've done the best we can with it, but I'd say we've made some errors. This is one.
    I don't think they would think that the solution to that is simply cutting off the freedom of speech of people or entities we think have too much though.


    Really? What rights do they have? Which rights are they denied?
    There is a long list. I thought I bookmarked a link. I'll get back to you.

    Think about it though - what if they had no rights? Could the government seize them without compensation? Search their records without a warrant?

    The corporation should be our servant but it has become our master.
    Now that's some serious hyperbole.

    I'd say none of those things has rights, though the individuals within them do.
    Think about that again. A newspaper has no freedom of the press, only the reporters? Does that make any sense at all? The government could shut down a newspaper, saying the reporters can just write their stories with a pen and paper and make carbon copies? A church has no freedom of religion, so the government could ban the Roman Catholic Church, but as long as catholics can worship at home it's perfectly okay? Really?

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    Re: Corporate Personhood

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    But religious and press groups have those freedoms.
    Nope, it is the individuals within that group that has the right, and their right is the idea to practice any religion they want without fear of persecution.
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