Bad. More bad.

So SCOTUS has decided:  protections accorded human beings by the Bill of Rights are extended, yet again, to Corporations.

  • Since corporations are persons and speech is money, political donations are from them are unrestricted. It’s Free Speech, protected by the First Amendment.
  • And now, some for-profit corporations have been granted Freedom of Religion and the attendant protections to exercised those ‘freedoms’ even when in opposition to the civil laws of the land.

Heed Thomas Jefferson:

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.”

Say no more.

34 responses to “Bad. More bad.

  1. Sad, just fucking sad…

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  2. Your title says it all. I always thought corporations had one and only one religion — profit and shareholder value.

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  3. Not exactly. The SCOTUS held that the RFRA applies to Closely Held corporations irrespective of their profit status. As the RFRA is heavily predicated upon the 1963 Sherbert v. Verner SCOTUS decision that says that if a person claimed a sincere religious belief, and a government action placed a substantial burden on that belief, the government needed to prove a compelling state interest, and that it pursued that action in the least burdensome way, which the government failed to do in this case.

    As a final note on this – As this was a legal decision based upon a Congressional Act, as opposed to a constitutional decision, the Dictionary Act of 1947 applied under U.S. Code › Title 1 › Chapter 1 › § 1

    the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;

    — 1 U.S. Code § 1 – Words denoting number, gender, and so forth

    Hence, any other ruling by the SCOTUS would have actually required casting aside long-standing law and legal precedent.

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    • jonolan – I know that the ‘corporations are people’ ruling is an historic, long ago ruling. I think it was actually in the early 1800’s.

      But I don’t care. That was bad. ‘Money is speech’ is bad. Corporations have free speech is bad. Corporations have religious freedoms is bad. All bad.

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      • Perhaps, though I don’t believe so, not hating (for-profit) corporations as you do. More importantly, though, is that the decision was and is the legally correct interpretation of the laws of the land.

        BTW – 1st ruling on corporate personhood was, I believe, Dartmouth College v. Woodward in 1819.

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        • Hating for-profits? Dear Elvis, I ran one once. How opposing corporate personhood equates with hating for-profits escapes me. But as they are persons – with the rights and the limits on their actions – let us bring them (not just their management) into criminal, not civil, Court to answer for any crimes.

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          • Moe, we’re at this junction merely dealing with long-existent laws, not broader contexts. Corporations ARE persons within the context of that word being used in federal law and are, hence, protected by the RFRA.

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            • But their protections ‘as persons’ were, I believe, more limited and for specific purposes.

              And the ‘money is speech’ thing isn’t about corps at all. I’m sure a good constitutional argument can be made for both sides of all these issues – in fact they are, all the time.

              I however, as a lay citizen, can only stand back and observe consequences and I see bad, more bad. And more bad to come.

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              • Again, let me remind you that this wasn’t a constitutional argument or decision by the SCOTUS. They did not address the 1st Amendement particulars, instead acting as merely the last level of Appellation and apply existing federal statutes.

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  4. Nothing changes. Teddy Roosevelt has the same issues with big business. Obviously rights of people matter less and less. This is just awful!

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  5. So I take it Democracy is long since Dead?

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  6. Two points to all and sundry:

    1) Corporations are made up of people.
    2) Labor unions are also “moneyed incorporations” and far more entrenched in politics than normal businesses are.

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    • jonolan – talking ‘for profit’ corporations here. Not just ‘corporations’.

      Labor unions are advocacy groups, like lobbyists. They are a “citizen sector organization” and as such are neither non-profit nor for-profit, but they are not-for-profit.

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      • Yet they are very much “moneyed incorporations” and come closer to being the threat that Jefferson warned of than other corporations do, exactly because are advocacy groups, like lobbyists. Indeed, they spend far more on elections than anyone else.

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        • I wonder what religion they are?

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        • You left a little something out there” “falls into the hands of LENDING INSTITUTIONS institutions and moneyed corporations”. That doesn’t sound like advocacy groups to me – especially when the same writer pretty much addressed that issue in the frackin’ First Amendment protecting “the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances”. There’s your advocacy right there. Different things.

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          • Unless you’re a government employee, the government isn’t your management so that clause doesn’t really apply to labor unions, now does it? And let’s not even get into the incestuous relationship between public sector unions and the government.

            A moneyed incorporation is a moneyed incorporation. If they do gain too much political power, e.g., the “meta” unions such as SEIU and AFL-CIO or certain financial companies, democracy is endangered.

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            • Are unions the only issue for you?

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              • No, but years of research into political money has shown me that unions are the greatest and most imminent threat at this time.

                Actually, my biggest issue is with the “meta” unions such as SEIU and AFL-CIO. Smaller unions still tend towards serving a somewhat valid function.

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  7. While the Court DID rule narrowly on Unions and Contraception yesterday…
    The media and others have gone batshit crazy…..

    The court said the cases only pertained to those involved….

    We’ll see….
    Good money would be on others trying to expand the calls which the court has said ‘don’t’….

    Both the GOPer’s and Dem’s are using the rulings for political base support and fundraising….

    In this charge political climate that is the way things go these days….

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    • Yeah, I’m surprised Moe, after having gone ” batshit crazy” over Burwell v. Hobby Lobby hasn’t gone off on Harris v. Quinn, especially since she considers unions to be “citizen sector organizations.”

      Frankly, I would have found a discussion on Harris v. Quinn interesting since I found the Court’s ruling to be torturous and cut with a very fine knife in order to fit the applicable laws, i.e., I found their opinion to be strongly lacking in good law…though Kagan’s dissent was even more lacking and was little more than an overtly insulting diatribe against the majority.

      No matter how it’s sliced, I didn’t find Harris v. Quinn to be one of the Court’s brighter moments.

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    • james, on the Hobby Lobby case I thought they only said it was limited to ‘closely held corporations”. Did they go further and say only the parties involved in the suits? Like Bush v. Gore?

      Of course, you’re right james – that old money train headed out into the country a millisecond after the rulings. Money first and let everyone else battle it out for themselves.

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      • Actually, they didn’t limit it to closely held corporation but did say that it was patently unlikely that a publicly traded company could meet the standards or even be allowed by their own shareholders to attempt to do so.

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  8. OK, based on journalistic commentary on the Hobby Lobby case and given that, as in Citizens United, I understand that corporations are now considered to have the same financial and religious rights as people,. Suppose, then, the following thought experiment:

    1. Unions continue their downward membership trajectory and are eliminated.
    2. Corporations continue their upward consolidation and evolve into a single, family-held company offering all goods and services. (Let’s call it WallyWorld.)

    Would this not mean that WallyWorld’s governing family would then be entitled under the law to impose their own religious limits on all their workers’ benefits and working conditions? And when religious doctrine defines business activity, isn’t that similar in structure to what Sharia Law seeks to do? Just wondering if we are headed that way.

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    • Not even close. There’s still – and will always be – the exception for compelling government interest and the the fact that “least burdensome” has no affect on many things which have no alternative means by which to be achieved.

      Of course, one should never take the words of the lamestream media seriously anyway, Jim. They’re not known for accurate reporting.

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