Republicans, led by the vocal charge of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney have been saying corporations are people, too.
Then in 2010, the Supreme Court with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, determined that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to exercise their freedom of speech to buy elections and run our government.
In my mind, it's human beings that are people and corporations are strictly legal entities. And now it comes down to the distinction. Because if corporations are people, I want them treated that way.
If I make a series of bad, irrational or even questionable actions as an individual I can be deemed a threat to myself or others. I can be forced to appear in court and prove my competency or I can be institutionalized or made to report to a conservator. My rights can be taken away from me.
Using the Citizen's United ruling, can't we, as a stock holder (meaning someone with a vested interest in the well-being of the "individual) or purchaser of a company's product, petition the court and make them appear before a judge and prove to be competent enough to avoid supervision? Can you imagine the competency hearings that could spur on?
Outrageous, of course. That's taking the ruling way too far. But didn't the Supreme Court do the same thing?
They gave corporations the right to make donations large enough to sway elections and therefore impact my well-being. So why can't the shoe be put on the other foot? Just think about it for a minute.
The reason there's local courts is to handle local issues, violations of laws. There are state Supreme or Superior courts to review those when justices may have made a mistake. There's Federal Appeals courts to review possible mistakes by Superior Courts. And there's the Supreme Court to review those possible misrulings. What happens when the Supreme Court makes a mistake? They can be guilty of that just as easily as any other court.
Well, like with your iPhone, we have an app for that.
MovetoAmend.org has been created to put some sanity back in America after the egregious Citizen's United ruling. They want to see it change -- recent elections have proven we need to take steps to protect our votes and now. MovetoAmed makes the argument is that with unlimited corporate money in the election process individuals rights are being trampled.
Remember Orwell's 1984 with big brother looking over our shoulder. We scoffed. Then come 2013 and Snowden's revealing the vast big brother of the NSA. It became reality.
So if you think corporate takeovers of this country isn't possible, you're naive.
Dissenting Justice Stevens wrote:
". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."
~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010
The video below demonstrates how we CAN and MUST take corporate and special interests out of political campaigns. It's really a hopeful few minutes, definitely worth a look-see.