Proposed Citizens United 'Fix' Strips Rights From Newspapers, TV Stations and Advocacy Groups

Reason 24/7ReasonCatering to the ongoing insistence by the usual suspects that the Citizens United decision spells DOOM for American democracy, Senators Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) proposed a constitutional amendment that would take away nasty corporations' ability to gum up the political process. "Montanans expect real people and their ideas — not corporations and their money — to decide our elections," Tester chirps in a press release. But, as written, the amendment does just a wee bit more. To be specific, it would literally define legally incorporated entities as un-persons, with a host of troublesome results.

From First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh's Volokh Conspiracy:

The proposed amendment would authorize Congress, states, and local governments to, for instance, (1) restrict what most newspapers publish, (2) restrict what most advocacy groups, such as the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and the NRA, say, (3) restrict what is said and done by most churches, and (4) seize the property of corporations without just compensation. (It might also allow restrictions on the speech of unions, depending on whether they are seen as “corporate entities.”)

Nearly all major newspapers and magazines are owned by corporations; the same is true of book publishers, movie studios, record labels, and broadcasters. Indeed, if you want such entities to be able to raise money for their operations through the stock market, you have to have them be organized as corporations. Likewise, most nonprofit organizations are organized as corporations — that, too, makes sense, since it makes sense to have the ACLU run as a corporate entity rather than as a sole proprietorship owned by one person, or a partnership owned by a few people. Churches are likewise often organized as corporations, sometimes with a special sort of corporate status.

Under the proposed amendment, all these groups — as well as ordinary businesses — would lose all their constitutional rights. Instead of "strict scrutiny" for content-based regulations of the press or of nonprofit advocacy groups, Congress and state and local governments would be free to impose any restrictions they "deem reasonable."

The problematic verbiage reads in part:

Section 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

The point of this definition is that the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of "people," "persons" and "citizens," so narrowly defining those terms restricts the protections. Un-persons, indeed.

Whether this rather wide-ranging removal of protection for rights from any entity that might muster the resources to, say, effectively heckle senators is a bug or a deliberate feature of the proposed amendment is left to the reader to decide.

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  • Acosmist||

    Citizens United had nothing to do with corporate personhood. Nothing. At all.

    I know all of facebook still has trouble getting that.

  • PapayaSF||

    I have had discussions with people who want to end corporate personhood. So far, nobody can tell me exactly what problems it would solve, and clearly nobody has any idea of the problems it would cause. E.g.: Exxon spills oil on your property. Well, you can't sue Exxon because they aren't a corporate person any more, so I guess you'd have to sue everybody there individually.

  • Acosmist||

    Yes, exactly. Corporate personhood is a legal fiction that allows for smoother operation of the law (including that of contracts) where actual, human people are acting together in some way.

    If actual, human people want to exercise their First Amendment rights together, corporate personhood doesn't have a damn thing to do with whether they're allowed to do that free of government interference. The entire corporate personhood objection to Citizens United is a red herring. WHENEVER corporate personhood is invoked, it's merely a tool to settle disputes. People who think abolishing corporate personhood would change anything are incredibly ignorant of the law.

    It seriously reminds me of people who say "well, imaginary numbers are imaginary, so I guess they don't exist." It's such a stupid misconception.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The real issue is limited liability. They hate that. Heck, some libertarians don't like it. But they're all wrong.

  • Hash Brown||

    I'm sometimes dubious about corporate personhood, but that's only because I sometimes think that all in all we'd be better off if this country were still made up of small producers and merchants. (I realize that would mean a much, much lower standard of living, but in my daydreams it's not so bad.)

  • Hash Brown||

    "corporate personhood" s/b "limited liability"

  • Pro Libertate||

    Very limited government would get you there.

  • Libertymike||

    Do you really believe that higher standards of living depend entirely upon the existence of a few industrial behemoths who enjoy gigantic economies of scale?

    Say it ain't so!

  • Libertymike||

    Question is for Hash Brown.

  • Hash Brown||

    I think the kind of standard of living we enjoy now requires business entities that are capable of marshaling large amounts of cash. And I don't think that can be done without limited liability.

  • newshutz||

    The biggest part of limited liability is corporate debt, and that could be handled by contracts on loans rather than legislated special protections.

    Eliminating limited liability for torts could be mitigated by proper levels of insurance and more transparent corporate governance, but it still would be on the stockholders to monitor those stocks they own. It would be a problem for aggregators like mutual funds or ETFs

  • Acosmist||

    newshutz: how are any of those things not handled by piercing the corporate veil?

  • PapayaSF||

    No small producer or merchant could ever make an iPhone, so forget that.

  • seguin||

    Not yet, at least.

  • Mandy66y||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link, www.Bling6.com

  • Agammamon||

    Why in the fuck would you have bought a *new* Alfa?

    Its Italian and anyone with sense knows you don't by Italian vehicles unless you have an insane amount of money to afford the constant maintenance bills (and the you buy a Ferrari)

  • sloopyinca||

    You bought an Alfa Romeo? Are you fucking retarded or something? Those Italian pieces of shit are on a par with Fiat's and are doomed to depreciate to nothing in less than 5 years.

    I hope you bought GAP insurance with the money you make over the next few months. You're gonna fucking need it, shithead.

  • Libertymike||

    Alfa Romeo will always mean the following for me:

    When I was 10, my aunt's then fiancé owned an Alpha Romeo. He was a short dumpy dentist who was also a Naval reservist. He was from Utica.

    One late Saturday summer afternoon, my father's 41st birthday, I went with my aunt and her fiancé to the A & P on Bellevue Avenue, in his Alfa.

    So, we go into the market and pick up some hamburgers, a couple pieces of steak and some other shit. Then, the two of them go next door to the Brooks Pharmacy while I went to the car.

    Of course, I was not given the keys to unlock the Alfa, so I had to wait by the car.

    20 minutes later (tell me you did not hate adults who thought nothing of your time when you were a kid), my aunt and her 5'5 creep fiancé emerged from Brook's and proceeded to the car.

    I was leaning on the car. As both my aunt and her fiancé approached, they began to yell at me. Then, as they became within striking distance, they slapped me. Hard.

    I don't have to tell you what color the fucking car was.

  • Brandon||

    This actually explains a lot.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dang, what did your parents say?

  • PapayaSF||

    MY KINGDOM FOR A "FLAG AS SPAM" BUTTON!

  • ||

    Firstly J.D. let me help you with that.

    Section 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

    People have sacred and inalienable rights, except when they voluntarily work together to achieve a goal.

    That's the basic logic of the anti-corporate screeching, which logically means that progressives only want the state to be permitted to organize and pool resources. But don't you dare call them socialists!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Am I really the only person in this country who understands that the Constitution was written to specifically enumerate the powers of the government and constrain Congress' power to make laws?

  • Tony||

    I can't find the part where it says legal entities known as corporations are entitled to the rights of personhood.

  • Acosmist||

    The very first comment already sailed over your head? Oh Tony.

  • Irish||

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    So you have the right to free speech, and the right to peaceably assemble, but according to liberals, you don't have the right to do both at the same time.

    Are you seeing why progressivism is stupid yet, Tony?

  • Pro Libertate||

    In the beginning, all the Constitution was was a list of what government could do, along with some specific prohibitions that were, at the time, considered by some to be overkill.

    In other words, the government was empowered to do A, B, and C. That's it. So the nature of the entity speaking, for instance, is irrelevant. Congress can't regulate speech. Not the speech of individuals, not the speech of people in groups, not the speech of killer robots from space.

  • Almanian!||

    OVER A HUNNERT YEARS OLD, PROL. THEREFORE, LIVING DOCUMENT.

    Geez. For a website called "Reason"....

  • Pro Libertate||

    I guess it expired or something.

  • Tony||

    Of course you do. But a corporation isn't just an assembly of people, it's a legal entitlement. Governments have the right and good reasons to create them, but I don't know of any legal doctrine that says that you are free to certain government entitlements but government is not free to set restrictions on them.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Maybe, but the restrictions that government places on legal entitlements should have to do with the actual entitlements. Just because the government recognizes me as a citizen and grants me certain legal privileges as a result doesn't mean that it can arbitrarily infringe on my rights. What aspect of legal incorporation has anything at all to do with First Amendment rights?

    And besides, as others have said, it's the First Amendment. It's pretty non-negotiable.

  • sloopyinca||

    Just because the government recognizes me as a citizen and grants me certain legal privileges as a result doesn't mean that it can arbitrarily infringe on my rights.

    Um, they don't have the authority to grant you a fucking thing. Your natural rights existed before the Constitution was written, as it says and all supporting documents confirm.

  • LynchPin1477||

    As a citizen, I have certain privileges when within (and in some cases outside of) U.S. jurisdiction that non-citizens don't. Social Security, for example. I'm not saying Social Security is a good thing, but the fact that I may collect it someday (I'm 29, so I'd say my are odds aren't great) isn't a justification for limiting my free speech rights (or really any others).

    What natural rights I have by simple virtue of being a human being is a separate matter, and I agree with you that government doesn't grant me those.

  • Tony||

    Sorry, a North Korean simply does not possess what you refer to as universal natural rights. Free speech is not in fact a right for everyone. You might as well tell a paraplegic that he has the theoretical ability to walk, should he grow legs. Even free speech as a right is something that must be created, maintained, and protected actively.

    Yes you are lucky enough to be both a citizen with certain entitlements and a person with deeper rights... in our system. But anyone saying corporations have a right to unlimited political interference because there exists a free speech right for persons is begging the question. Corporations are not persons.

  • Agammamon||

    I've said it before and I guess I need to say it again.

    CORPORATIONS DO NOT SPEAK, OWNERS, EMPLOYEES, AND CUSTOMERS SPEAK. THAT MEANS THAT RESTRICTIONS ON "CORPORATE" SPEECH ARE ACTUALLY RESTRICTIONS ON INDIVIDUAL SPEECH.

    YOU STUPID FUCKHEAD HOW CAN YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?

  • Whahappan?||

    Because he chooses not to.

  • oncogenesis||

    I don't know of any legal doctrine that says that you are free to certain government entitlements but government is not free to set restrictions on them.

    Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech.

    Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech.

    Congress shall make no law [...] abridging the freedom of speech.

  • Tony||

    It's not the "no law" part that is at issue, it's the "freedom of speech" part. As in, you think that means corporations being able to dominate American politics is free speech. I think that's clearly ridiculous.

  • Agammamon||

    CORPORATIONS DO NOT SPEAK.

  • Adam330||

    Well when you use the word "clearly," who can argue?

  • ||

    "I can't find the part where it says legal entities known as corporations are entitled to the rights of personhood."

    If you can regulate a legal entity, why can't it have rights?

    If it makes sense to demand a corporation to do X, Y, and Z, then this implies that the corporation is more than a legal fiction, since it has the ability to perform actions which are being regulated. This implies that it is a group of people, which implies they have rights which they have not renounced, just because they formed a corporation.

    Or, if you disagree, then it's silly to be attempting to control the actions of legal fantasies through regulation. Legal fantasies can't do anything.

    Legal fictions cut both ways.

  • Duke||

    Corporation has the root “corpus," which means body. So, Tony can sleep better knowing that corporations have been considered discrete juridical entities that can own property, sue and be sued since the days of Jolly ole England’s East India Company.

    That said, corporations are considered a legal fiction. They cannot vote or go to jail. And many misdeeds have been done and gotten away with behind that corporate veil. Allowing corporations to become behemoths that can take over entire industries, stamp out competition through legislative barriers to entry, and have legislators in their pockets..now even I start to take issue with that.

  • Agammamon||

    ". . .stamp out competition through legislative barriers to entry, and have legislators in their pockets"

    Do . . . do you not see how those two issues stem from the same root - allowing *politicians* to create barriers to entry makes it profitable to buy politicians.

    "Allowing corporations to become behemoths that can take over entire industries"

    But, but, but it *doesn't* matter if a single company takes over an industry. If no-one has the power to put up a barrier to entry then the monopoly holder will still be forced to keep prices low an service standards high or else new competitors will enter the market and force the incumbent to change his game or lose market share.

    Its only monopolies created by *government* meddling that allow a company to completely escape the moderating influence of competition.

  • Duke||

    Look man, I own several corporations and have been self-employed for years, just like my dad and grandfather before me. I totally get the utility of corporations and self-sufficiency. However, I’ve also lobbied for corporations at the federal level. Do you have any idea how many tax laws and entry requirements exist because a company wrote that law to prevent competitors from entering the marketplace?

    The big corporations and the government are basically one and the same now, much like it was in England before this nation was founded. Our army goes around the globe to pave the way for corporate interests, just like the British Navy did for the East India Company. You only need look at how our federal budget has ballooned and look who are the recipients of all that largesse. Just touting the benefits of corporations and free enterprise is not the same as the merger of large corporate interests with government. I’m not against corporations big or small; I’m against their merger with government.

  • Agammamon||

    Well I may have misread it, but your previous comment reads like your complaining about big corporations as if they are the problem rather than the government power that gives them their immunities.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You missed his point. It's the power possessed by the government that the corporations take advantage of. By themselves they are relatively weak and at the mercy of circumstances and the consumer. Almost all *real* power a corporation wields is through government, so the more power you give government, the more power you give to big corporations.

  • Duke||

    Right. I think we all basically agree. Business is a good thing and limited liability entities help encourage investment in businesses. So all of that is good. However, when said business can go to Congressman Shithead and get special deals made just for that business, then it’s a problem. So yes, government remains the problem from beginning to end.

  • newshutz||

    Even if you think limited liability is a problem (as I do), that also is a grant of privilege from government.

  • Tony||

    It's a complete distraction to make it about whether it's government being evil or corporations being evil--which institution's fault it is. These guys don't want to argue that a certain government policy is faulty, they want to argue that government itself is faulty. Where they go from there is usually a bunch of hemming and hawing bullshit--what matters is that government is evil, and goodnight.

    The problem is clearly whatever aspects of the system allow corporate cronyism. Bad laws and interpretations of laws are a part of it sure. But not every fucking thing has to be reduced to "government is evil," does it? Because it's not like libertarians ever offer a coherent alternative.

  • Agammamon||

    Uh, yes we have. Many times. You just seem to have a head injury that prevents you from remembering it.

  • ||

    "They cannot vote or go to jail. And many misdeeds have been done and gotten away with behind that corporate veil."

    Yes, but that has limits, right? If I formed a corporation with three people, and we conspired to murder someone at our corporate meetings, and we succeeded, and then we were dragged to court, the three of us couldn't say "Hey, we're a corporation! We can't go to jail! You can only sue us for damages!"

    And the three of us can vote, and we'd probably consider our corporation when we did.

    "Allowing corporations to become behemoths that can take over entire industries, stamp out competition through legislative barriers to entry, and have legislators in their pockets..now even I start to take issue with that."

    That's a feature of government, not of people coordinating their actions and calling it a corporation.

  • Duke||

    I think murder is an inapposite analogy when you’re talking about corporate rights vis-a-vis citizen rights. Corporations are about limited liability to protect capital investment, nothing more. It’s when their capital interests become intertwined and dependent on the government is where the problems arise.

    I mentioned above that government is the root of the problem since they make and enforce the laws. However, individuals like me cannot gain an audience with Senator Turdface or Congressman Assturd because I cannot influence their election or entertain them with fancy golf or prostitute outings. But the moneyed interests can and that’s where the problem I think lies. Too much money influencing the lawmakers to write shitty laws. The constitution seems pretty plain speaking when it states that people have the right to petition their government to redress grievances. I don’t read that to mean that business cartels have the right to write laws that protect their businesses from competitors and deliver them on a velvet tray to said senator for summary approval.

  • LynchPin1477||

    While I agree with you, the solution is to somehow limit what Congressman Assturd can do. Going after campaign financing is treating the symptom instead of the disease.

  • Duke||

    Yeah, I’m really not even talking about the campaign financing part. I don’t think that’s nearly as big a deal as being able to waltz into the congressman’s office with your super sweet new rule that goes straight to a rider on some completely different legislation that is guaranteed to pass.

  • Tony||

    The creation of a corporation is already an intervention by the state. It's arbitrary to say the state can't set parameters beyond that.

    Every person who works at a corporation has first amendment rights. It's not immediately clear that the corporation itself should. And it's not like there aren't requirements already placed on corporations that don't apply to people, and it's not like we're not pretending that unlimited campaign spending by corporations has something to do with speech.

  • ||

    First, the amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law...". That is CRYSTAL FUCKING CLEAR.

    Second, unlimited campaign spending by corporations is a fucking boogeyman. There have been two major elections since CU was decided (never mind that CU had dick all to do with corporate money in campaign finance) and in neither one was corporate spending enough to buy a seat.

    Unless you want to say that all of the spending done by the unions (which are defacto corporations) and the speech put out by the media (which are very much corporations) helped Obama win. I'm sure you don't want to do that though.

  • ||

    Tony:
    "The creation of a corporation is already an intervention by the state. It's arbitrary to say the state can't set parameters beyond that."

    Yes, and the state frequently does regulate corporations. And the state regulates itself with the first amendment, which it can amend anytime. Feel free to attempt that.

    "It's not immediately clear that the corporation itself should."
    It's not immediately clear that it shouldn't, either. Does freedom of the press not apply to the New York Times, because that's a corporation? This is another argument from ignorance: "I can't see why a corporation should have first amendment rights, so it shouldn't."

    "it's not like we're not pretending that unlimited campaign spending by corporations has something to do with speech."

    Tell that to the ACLU. When you're telling people they can't spend money to print books or buy commercials, but they can spend it to do other stuff, it's regulating political speech. Your argument is like saying "We're not going to regulate the press. We're just going to regulate what the press does with it's money."

  • Tony||

    Both begging the question. My issue is with the claim that corporate spending is equivalent to speech. So "make no law" is not the relevant text.

    I disagree with the ACLU on this. I think the corporations that own newspapers should be subject to whatever prudent regulations might exist for any corporations. The newspapers themselves should be constitutionally free to say what they want and distribute where they want and practice press freedom all the day long.

    Government regulates what people do with their money in countless ways. To equate spending money with speech is bizarre, and clearly novel rightwing corporate cocksucking bullshit.

  • Tony||

    Both begging the question. My issue is with the claim that corporate spending is equivalent to speech. So "make no law" is not the relevant text.

    I disagree with the ACLU on this. I think the corporations that own newspapers should be subject to whatever prudent regulations might exist for any corporations. The newspapers themselves should be constitutionally free to say what they want and distribute where they want and practice press freedom all the day long.

    Government regulates what people do with their money in countless ways. To equate spending money with speech is bizarre, and clearly novel rightwing corporate cocksucking bullshit.

  • ||

    Tony:
    "To equate spending money with speech is bizarre, and clearly novel ."

    If that sounds bizarre, you should read more about the case. The BCRA prohibited "electioneering communications" and expenditures. The entire case revolved around the government banning the advertisement and air time for a movie. How is banning electioneering communications not an infringement of speech?

    Your argument is like if the government were to ban the purchase of guns, and then claiming that it wasn't gun control, because they were regulating money, not guns.

    It would be as if the government banned the purchase of abortions, and claimed that it wasn't banning abortions, just the spending of money on abortions.

    It would be as if the government banned gay people from purchasing marriage licenses, and then claiming that they weren't banning gay marriage, just regulating the money that goes into marriage.

    Hand waving about regulating money when you're banning speech doesn't change the issue, and looking at it that way is pretty bizarre itself.

  • Michael||

    To equate spending money with speech is bizarre, and clearly novel rightwing corporate cocksucking bullshit.

    It's no more bullshit than equating drawing deeper breaths with speaking louder. The act of spending money is in fact speech, and if you disagree then you shouldn't have a problem with somebody grabbing your wallet and speaking on your behalf.

  • The Heresiarch||

    The Constitution does not say that persons (or only persons) have freedom of speech. It says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. So whether or not the speech is that of persons, or fictional entities, is irrelevant. Congress does not have the power to make a law in either case.

  • Tony||

    I think corporations should be able to say whatever the hell they want.

  • Tony||

    If they somehow obtain the ability to speak or write.

  • Agammamon||

    But for some reason you think that the individuals that make up a corporation should have their free speech rights trampled upon?

  • ||

    Tony:
    "If they somehow obtain the ability to speak or write."

    If you want to treat corporations as imaginary, fine. Then corporations can't purchase air time, make movies, and engage in electioneering communications, either, since that would require, at a minimum, the faculties required for reading and writing. This implies that telling any group of people that they can't do these things because of corporate regulations is nonsensical, since it's a ban on an imaginary, abstract idea. Imaginary, abstract ideas can't be regulated.

  • Agammamon||

    "Every person who works at a corporation has first amendment rights. It's not immediately clear that the corporation itself should"

    Oh, fuckhead. You get sooooo close to the truth and then shy away.

    A corporation is a legal construct intended to reduce the criminal and civil liability of its owners.

    1. Corporations don't pay tax, customers, owners, and employees pay tax.

    2. Corporations don't speak, customers, owners, and employees speak.

    The way you want it, no corporate officer or shareholder would be able to speak on any issue since they got the funds to do so from the corporation.

    George Soros should be silenced because he funds his speech with money he earned from working - at a corporation.

  • Tony||

    The way you want it, no corporate officer or shareholder would be able to speak on any issue since they got the funds to do so from the corporation.

    I just can't figure out where you get this at all.

    A corporation spending money on political campaigns, even potentially against the wishes of some of the people who work to make its money, is just really not speech.

  • Agammamon||

    Because the only way to limit corporate speech is to place limits on what the people who make up a corporation spend money on.

    Since you can't tell which dollar bill came from your pay or dividend check then you have to place limits on *any* spending done by individuals who are part of a corporation.

    "even potentially against the wishes of some of the people who work to make its money"

    Except that a fucking corporation doesn't spend money on shit - it can't.

    The people who OWN the company can spend the company funds on whatever they see fit - if your an employee who doesn't like that, find a new job and start spending your own cash to oppose the company on the issue. Because last time I checked we still had private property in this country. If you're a customer then take your business elsewhere.

  • Adam330||

    Property is the creation of the state too. Does that mean the government can pass a law saying: "Any paper, pen, a computer, or any other tangible thing that is used in connection with an unregistered political campaign shall not be considered private property." That's just a parameter on the use of a creation of the state, right?

    Anyway, this proposed amendment says that it permits the federal government to abridge the speech and other rights of corporations created by foreign states and US states. So it claims the authority to not only set parameters on its own creations, but the creations of other sovereigns. How does that fit with your theory?

  • Agammamon||

    Uh, moron - you're misreading the constitution.

    You need to find the part where it says corporations *aren't* entitled to the rights of personhood.

    I know its a difficult concept but the constitution doesn't lay out what rights you have - it lays out the limits of what the government can do.

  • Tony||

    The constitution doesn't say states can't set whatever limits they want on corporations. It was the Supreme Court that created that constitutional provision out of thin air.

  • sloopyinca||

    By "thin air," you mean the First Amendment, I suppose.

    Again, I'll excuse you because the government nutsack was in your eyes. But I swear, as soon as you drain their collective load, I'm gonna hold you accountable for what you're saying.

  • Agammamon||

    Yes the constitution does - that whole first amendment thing. Remember, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The supreme court's ruling *upheld* that premise, not came "out of thin air".

  • Tony||

    Begging the question. Come on now.

  • Agammamon||

    Plus, how can you keep forgetting that if it isn't explicitly allowed in the constitution then the government doesn't actually have the authority to do it.

    Fuck, its basic 8th grade social studies. When it comes to the actions of citizens, if its not explicitly forbidden then its allowed. When it comes to government, if its not explicitly allowed its forbidden.

  • ||

    Fuck you are a mendacious little twat.

    CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW IS NOT BEGGING THE QUESTION ASSHOLE!

  • Agammamon||

    To set out a restriction of what a corporation *say* by necessity sets restrictions on what INDIVIDUALS say.

    Remember - Corporations do not speak, customers, owners, and employees do.

  • Tony||

    But corporations can't "say" anything. A freedom of speech for a corporation--or more to the point, corporate personhood itself--is an absurdity. Fetal personhood makes more sense.

  • Agammamon||

    Then why do you support limits on corporate speech if you agree that companies don't speak?

    Your basic premise requires there to be restrictions on *individuals* in order to work.

  • ||

    He just doesn't get it. In his mind, corporations are the equivalent of unicorns when it comes to rights. Then, he turns around and wants to regulate unicorns.

    It's very irrational and inconsistent. Or, maybe I'm just question begging.

  • sloopyinca||

    I can't find the part where it says legal entities known as corporations are entitled to the rights of personhood.

    That's because your vision is obscured by the government's ballsack.

  • ||

    Damn it sloop, that made me spit my V8 all over my keyboard.

  • sloopyinca||

    That's the second balls joke I've made today to much fanfare.

    I'm back, people!

  • ||

    $$$$ $$$ $$$$$$$

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Do corporations have freedom of the press? If they do, how do they not have freedom of speech, or freedom of religion (Hey, The Watchtower is now illegal!), or freedom from unwarranted search and seizure?

    You are not saying corporations don't have rights. You are saying they don't have one extremely specific one--the right to buy ad time.

    Further, if you take away the rights of corporations without taking away their tax burden, you are a fucking brazen thief.

  • Agammamon||

    Ne, he's saying that corporations don't have 4th amendment protections either.

    Search and seizure at any time with no oversight, bills of attainder - no problem. Need to billet your troops - send them over to the Hilton and require the hotel to put them up for free.

    Compel testimony from corporate employees and shareholders (and anyone who's ever done business with them).

  • Seamus||

    Good point, Tony. The New York Times Company shouldn't have been able to hide behind the first amendment in New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), or New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971). Now I agree that, because Punch Sulzberger was a real human being, it would have been a violation of the First Amendment to bankrupt him personally with a libel judgment or enjoin him personally from publishing the Pentagon Papers, but once he made the choice to do business by means of a government-created entity, the corporation, the government could reasonably dictate that its creature, the corporation, would not enjoy the same rights as real people. But if Sulzberger really wanted to publish the Pentagon Papers, he should have bought a personal mimeograph machine and run off copies in his basement, then passed them out in Central Park.

  • Tony||

    The existence of a legal freedom of the press implies that there is something about that particular industry that singles it out as specially protected, and I don't need to explain the liberal Enlightenment justifications for this. The press is a watchdog on government.

    Monsanto and Exxon are not.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    The press is a watchdog on government.

    Monsanto and Exxon are not.

    Now who's begging the question?

  • Seamus||

    Nice backpedal, but what you said was "I can't find the part where it says legal entities known as corporations are entitled to the rights of personhood." You didn't make any exception for legal entities known as corporations that happen to belong to an industry known as "the press." You can have an industry known as "the press" without giving them limited liability protection.

    In any event, the first amendment wasn't adopted in order to give special protection to any "particular industry"; it was adopted to give protection to anyone using "the press"--i.e., mass communications media that enable one to disseminate one's views widely, rather than simply standing on a soapbox and speaking to those within earshot. It protects such disparate persons as The New York Time Company, Julian Assange, and Wikileaks.

  • Adam330||

    Freedom of the press refers to the technology of publishing and disseminating information, not to the press as an industry. This is document in hundreds of years of SCOTUS decisions as well as the historical record.

  • ||

    Fuck you Tony, the freedom of the press was not about a particular fucking industry. Unless you think that the government can tell you where you can post on the internet, seeing as how you aren't a journalist.

  • Adam330||

    Actually, most of the rights in the Bill of Rights don't mention the word "person" at all. "Person" is only used in the Fourth Amendment with respect to being secure in their "persons" and in the Fifth in the Grand Jury and double jeopardy clauses. The word "people" appears in the first, second, and fourth, but most of the first amendment rights have no reference to people at all- they are just restrictions on congress.

  • Rich||

    Well, the only *non-corporate* person, Hugh.

  • ||

    Corporations are just a tool for doing things. Declaring that corporations don't have rights is like declaring that pencils, printing presses, or cellphones don't have rights.

    "A printing press is not a person and is not protected under the first amendment, and has no right to speak. Likewise, cellphones have no right to produce speech. That pen you're writing with? That's the pen's speech, it can be restricted at will. You have to speak ON YOUR OWN to get protection, the 1st Amendment doesn't cover non-persons."

    Replace "printing press", "cellphone", and "pen" with "corporation" and you have the same illogic.

  • Almanian!||

    I think lefties are "tools" for doing things, if ya know what I'm sayin.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    This is a perfect, succinct way to explain the issue. Well done.

  • Tony||

    Pencils, printing presses, and cellphones don't have rights. Corporations do.

  • ||

    Your point only underscores mine. To say that pencils, etc, don't have rights and can thus be prevented from expressing anything would be absurd. Declaring that corporations don't have rights and thus can be prevented from expressing anything is also absurd.

    In truth, corporations DON'T have rights, the people owning those corporations DO. In order to restrict corporate speech you MUST restrict the speech of people, just as restricting the speech of pencils would be restricting the speech of people. The term "corporate personhood" is a misnomer, it is only referred to as such because it isn't as obviously the tool of individuals.

  • Acosmist||

    What are partnerships, chopped liver?

  • Pro Libertate||

    They aren't limited liability, so they're groovy.

  • Acosmist||

    Whenever someone whines about corporations, I think of partnerships, and how they are apparently completely saintly. The moral rectitude of your actions depends on which form you file with your state government.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Like I said, it's really about limited liability and people's general ignorance about the concept. If executives don't go to jail enough, it's not because of limited liability. It's because government and many interest groups (not all "corporations") are in bed together. Why? Because the government fucking controls everything.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think for a lot of people "corporation" is just a synonym for "big business". They don't understand what the word means in a legal sense (hell, I don't understand all the technicalities of it), they just understand that whenever they hear it used, it is in reference to a big, rich, and most likely evil business.

  • sloopyinca||

    Just tell them that their local teachers union, AARP, and city itself aren't allowed to make any political speech whatsoever.

    City says they need to make road improvements? Fuck you, not allowed!

    City says they need money and want to pass a levy? Fuck you, not allowed!

    City holds a council meeting? Fuck you, not allowed!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, why does government get to speak if corporations can't?

  • sloopyinca||

    Yes, why does government get to speak if corporations can't?

    Especially when governments incorporate themselves, which nearly all cities do.

  • ||

    Obviously we'd have to make sure that it wouldn't affect them. They are, after all, TOP MEN.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think it would be really hard for businesses to get insanely big--I mean, in the Ma Bell or Standard Oil sense--without government connivance. One of the biggest problems with the government--state and federal--controlling so much of everything is that both levels of government have created tremendous barriers to entry, especially in regulated industries. Which, of course, means less competition and more favoring of entrenched companies.

  • Agammamon||

    WalMart did - of course they got so big by providing what the customer wanted.

    Nowadays though they've learned to play by the rules and campaign contributions and sucking up to the pols is business as usual.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, but they're nowhere close to having a monopoly and could get destroyed in fairly short order. Retailers have a way of getting killed in the marketplace. Ask A&P. Or K-Mart. Or Sears.

    Amazon scares the shit out of Walmart, by the way.

  • Agammamon||

    Oh, I know - and that sword hanging over them is what keeps them competitive.

    But I was just answering your challenge to name a company that got huge without government connivance.

  • Agammamon||

    And if IRC, Standard Oil got big without government help - and got butchered when they wouldn't play ball with the politicians.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was really thinking near monopoly more than really big. Walmart's not even close to that, despite the propaganda.

    I could be wrong about this, but I remember reading somewhere that Standard Oil actually was nowhere near as monopolistic as its been made out to be. Anyone know?

  • ||

    If I recall correctly, it comprised a very large percentage of the industry at first, but as time went on that percentage dropped. By the time the government made it their mission to decrease their market share, the issue was already in the process of resolving itself.

  • ||

    Pro Libertate, they weren't, especially since they were competing with Russian oil. Moreover, what they *used* petroleum products for at the time meant that substitutes are entirely different from what we think of now (I am not saying that you didn't know that, just that the implications are pretty profound)...

    Complaints against them were almost entirely about them driving *down* the price of petroleum products, squeezing out the smaller (and less efficient) operations, or simply being too damn big. They are one of the finest examples of how, no matter what you do as a so-called "monopolist," you are said to be fucking over the little guy, who is the BACKBONE OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. (Note a distinct lack of concern for the little guy as consumer -- the right and proper concern in a reasonable welfare analysis.)

    In that respect, I actually disagree pretty strongly with the comments here about monopoly, monopolists, etc. Economies of scale matter, natural monopolies exist, and public goods arguments can and will be made. It is in the twin issues of incentives and knowledge where classical liberals and libertarians have the best claim to being "right": How would you know a natural monopoly when you saw it, particularly in light of economic dynamism? Would you trust a political committee to run a natural monopoly, to determine economies of scale, or even to make you a cup of coffee? What about a "public private partnership"? What about eminent domain?

  • Adam330||

    Limited liability has nothing to do with criminal liability for executives. Limited liability refers only to the restriction on the corporation's creditors from getting to the personal assets of the corporation's owners.

  • Rich||

    people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include ... entities established by the laws of any ... state

    So, the Boy Scouts of America is a person?

  • ||

    I have to say, TEAM BLUE is so fucking stupid about certain issues that one has to wonder if they have brain damage. Not only are they morons on this subject, they're utterly un-self-aware how stupid and liberty hating they look. It's amazing. It's like them with guns; no matter how much of a losing proposition it is, they will charge headlong into the machine gun fire over and over and over again.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have a great idea. The moment we get true AI, let's make sure it gets full civil liberties. Then let's make a gun that incorporates that AI, except that it also registers itself as a corporation. Finally, it registers as a Republican.

  • ||

    I like what you have to say and am interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The focused hatred on AI/Republican/Gun, Inc. would be amazing. It might totally freeze the left altogether. Especially if AI/Republican/Gun, Inc. got into the oil business.

  • ||

    Nice.

  • ||

    It needs to have some sort of old, white, male avatar, possibly playing recordings of every sexist and/or derogatory thing Sean Connery ever said. That, and since it doesn't need to eat, it HATES locally grown food.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm having a hard time deciding if I'd rather work for Halliburton, Monsanto, or the Koch Brothers in order to send the left into fits. Given my line of work, Halliburton is the most realistic option.

    Special note to a future lefty who might throw this comment into my face as an "Ah ha, I knew you were a right winger!" moment: no, it's just that I know the only place I could work and piss off a right winger is an abortion clinic, and I'm not a medical professional. I piss off the right by refusing to pretend that I don't think religion is ridiculous.

    Note #2 to said future lefty: no, the right wouldn't care if I worked at Media Matters. They'd think I was wrong, but they wouldn't automatically hate me for it. They'd wait until they heard what I said.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't know how many people Halliburton has killed, but I suspect their business model doesn't involve offing innocent babies. So there's that.

    And abortion clinics have all sorts of non-medical staff and helpers. There's the "escorts" to protect pregnant women from prolife protesters, there's the receptionists who fill out *meticulously accurate* information about the age of a girl's boyfriend (fudging a few years to the guy doesn't get arrested), etc.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm also not willing to take an 80% pay cut just to annoy people.

  • Almanian!||

    So, if this is passed, and I incorporate myself...I....lose all my rights.

    "Note to Self: Do not incorporate self..."

  • Agammamon||

    Yeah its weird. I could make a corporation that has just me as its owner and the government could regulate me to its heart's content.

  • ||

    Fucking over self-proprietors. Sounds about par for the course from the shitweasels Tony's ilk vote for.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Montanans expect real people and their ideas — not corporations and their money — to decide our elections

    Sorry, but when did corporations stop being made up of individual people? Did someone turn CorpoSkyNet on without telling us?

    And if corporate money is so effective at influencing how people think and act, why do so many people hate corporations?

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's odd, too, is this idea that CORPORATIONS aren't competing with themselves and others to get influence with the government and to influence us in other ways (like in buying stuff). And, also, that some limited liability entities are magically exempt from their ire, like (some) media, unions, (some) not-for-profits, etc.

  • LynchPin1477||

    What is even more odd is that so few people understand that the reason certain groups and individuals spend shit tons of money to influence politicians is because politicians have the power to control them. Start rolling back the regulatory power of the government and watch the money spent on lobbying dry up, and move to more productive uses.

  • sloopyinca||

    ^^This^^

    End government control over corporations and their willingness/need to buy influence disappears.

  • ||

    It's actually much more difficult than that, because there will always be some government decisions that affect the profits of private actors in the economy. It cannot be otherwise, unless there is no government. However, reducing the *scope* of government reduces the number and power of rent-seekers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's so insanely obvious, yet these same people want to remove what few restraints remain on government in this country. It's beyond insane. It's suicidal.

  • ||

    http://ep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/real.....artoon.jpg

    "Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question."
    --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801. ME 3:320

  • Pro Libertate||

    If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?

    --Frédéric Bastiat

  • sloopyinca||

    If they hadn't done what I told 'em not to do, they'd still be alive.

    -Mr. Pink The Government

  • ||

    It's funny, because Alfred North Whitehead's famous quote about Plato is actually as relevant for the European POLITICAL tradition: "We need Philosopher Kings" (also known as TOP MEN).

  • ||

    The entire premise of money buying elections is fucking retarded on it's head.

    I mean by that logic, Obama obviously bought the election since he won.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He bought it after the election, anyway.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Well, he kind of did buy it. I'm looking at you, unions in Ohio.

  • Duke||

    Tim Robbins explains why corporations are evil:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erTN58xt-jo

  • Generic Stranger||

    MAAAT DAAAAMON!

  • The Last American Hero||

    So if corporate speech is banned, the only ones with the power to make their voices heard will be the very wealthy. I thought those lefty's were supposed to be looking out for the little guy.

  • sloopyinca||

    No, no, no. The poor will still be able to speak. As a matter of fact, I'm gonna go long on Big Sandwich Board before this bill gets through committee and their stock soars.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is very easily explained. The statist left doesn't want the poor to speak for themselves. They want to speak on behalf of the poor, regardless of what the poor actually think. It's akin to Southern states getting 3/5ths representation for slaves.

  • ||

    "Right, because the masses have 'false consciousness.' Until we change the material condi... um, I mean, until we make sure that everyone is guaranteed a place at the table, they will be intellectually beholden to the capitalist mode of... er, too dependent on corporations to speak out!"

    And people tell me that I am paranoid and/or out of order for suggesting that leftist thought is intellectually dependent on Marcuse, Marx, etc....

  • Agammamon||

    The poor get their voices heard through the compassion of their elected overlords.

  • Acosmist||

    Slightly OT: Why is commercial speech less protected in SCOTUS jurisprudence?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fraud. That's the justification. Under the Rehnquist court, there was a trend towards getting rid of the distinction in a couple of cases, but that stopped.

  • Silly ol' Bear||

    I think this is great! Make a corporation a non-person, which means they are not subjected to the law. I will incorporate tomorrow!

  • Agammamon||

    I think you have that backwards - corporations are subject to any form of law but no longer enjoy the *protection* of the law.

  • ||

    Am I the only one who thinks this could easily be interpreted to allow individuals but not churches "freedom of religion"?

  • ||

    Well, I RTFA and I see that I'm not. That's insane.

  • ||

    The only freedom of religion should be the freedom to worship the state.

    Duh Nikki.

  • Agammamon||

    And remember - you have freedom *of* religion but not freedom *from* religion so get your but over to the tax assessor's office, its time for your weekly audit, I mean 'sermon'.

  • ||

    I mean, do these people honestly put this shit out before anyone has read it who is smart enough to notice something that blatantly insane?

  • Agammamon||

    Their problem is that all of their proof-readers come from the same ideological pool.

    The basic premises these people have about reality means they can't find the logical errors in their arguments.

    Its as if they are using a different type of math - everything checks out according to their math, they just don't understand why it doesn't match reality.

  • ||

    That is a perfect analogy.

  • sloopyinca||

    Its as if they are using a different type of math - everything checks out according to their math, they just don't understand why it doesn't match reality.

    Wait, so Global Warming Climate Change researchers are moonlighting as copy editors for Congress? Shit's starting to make some sense.

  • ||

    They also make all budgetary calculations for the state of Illinois.

  • ||

    Their problem is that all of their proof-readers come from the same ideological pool.

    I just suffer from the terrible disease where you can't help recognizing that something is wrong or stupid even if it doesn't serve your own ends to do so.

  • sloopyinca||

    Once we pass it, we're then allowed to read it and see what's actually in there.

    Didn't Nancy Pelosi femsplain it well enough for your little woman-mind a few years back, Nicole?

  • ||

    They proof read it in an echo chamber, so they're a bit, ahem, disadvantaged.

  • Tony||

    Buildings don't have religions.

  • ||

    Churches are religious institutions as well, e.g. "the Catholic Church. Dumbass.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I don't think he was really even trying that time.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Well, on the bright side, I'd never have to see a commercial for Dianetics again.

  • ||

    A constitutional amendment? Yeah, good luck with that. Purely for show.

    Shame Tester isn't up for relection until 2018.

  • Libertarianism Sucks||

    In TONYland, the American idiot electorate is being manipulated by corporate money. But after corporate money is withdrawn from the equation, they won't be manipulated by anything at all. They will finally *know* what they want. How does that work TONY?

  • Libertarianism Sucks||

    Everyone assumes that if money is no longer considered speech, it will benefit the democrats. However, I question that. Most of the Democrat money comes from rich liberals and unions. If both parties were suddenly in need of money, who do you think would go to the bank first, the Democrat base or the Republican base?

  • Mickey Rat||

    For the rationale behind what specifically happened in the Citizens United case, speech has to be considered money. The government attempted to censor a documentary critical of a specific candidate, which, to be regulated, had to be considered a campaign donation in kind to the candidate's opponents. Distributing the film is the same as a cash donation, therefore speech=money.

    "Money is not speech" is a mindless slogan whose users do not ponder the implications of.

  • sloopyinca||

    You know who Tony reminds me of? The Illinois Nazis in The Blues Brothers

    White Working men! White Working women! The swastika Progressive movement is calling you. The sacred and ancient symbol of your race struggle, since the beginning of time. The Jew Corporations is are using The Black Media as muscle against you. And you are left there helpless. Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey Worker? Just sit there? Of course not! You are going to join with us. The members of the American Socialist White Peoples' Democrat Party. An organization of decent, law abiding white working folk. Just like you!

  • ||

    Those assholes lost their court case so they're marching every day.

  • ||

    I hate Illinois Tonies.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "... such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected State and Federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution."

    SCOTUS, in the Citizen's United case, deemed aspects of the campaign finance to be unreasonable and inconsistent with the powers of Congress under the Constitution. This is an inkblot, internally contradictory. It is either meaningless except to get rid of the legal concept of corporate personhood which the Left has an irrational hatred for, or it opens the door for the nationalization of industry, including most major media. Ultimately, it entirely depends on what the disposition of SCOTUS. I cannot decide whether Tester and Murphy are diabolically clever, or simply morons.

  • ||

    They can't be diabolic morons?

  • sloopyinca||

    I'll make you a deal, Tony: you can take the corporate speech away if you also eliminate qualified immunity, collective bargaining in the public sector and government quotas away. That's fair, right?

  • playa manhattan||

    How about the fairness doctrine in education, too?

  • sloopyinca||

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    WHOA

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • RBS||

    Is he really dead or just existing in some bizarre coma world?

  • Marshall Gill||

    The point of this definition is that the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of "people," "persons" and "citizens," so narrowly defining those terms restricts the protections. Un-persons, indeed.

    JD, let's not change the subject to how people rationalize abortion.

  • sloopyinca||

    I thought they just rationalized it by saying it was "fun".

  • ||

    This is nothing more than an attempt by the left to shut down speech they disagree with. They simply have not realized yet that you cant legally restrict speech you dont like without restricting speech you do like. What they really want is the power to arbitrarily choose what speech to allow and what to disallow. That is the hallmark of progressives - contempt for rule of law. This is on full display regarding their position on obamacare state exchanges vs. federal exchanges. The law means what they want it to mean, not what it says.

    That is what progressivism is - the arbitrary rule of Top-Men.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressivism wants to undo the Enlightenment and bring humanity back to it's default state of slavery, where freedom means asking permission and taking orders.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Conservatives reject Darwin in favor of Genesis fables.

    See how easy this is?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Some conservatives do, sure. But hostility toward the enlightenment is basically what distinguishes progressives from liberals.

  • ||

    Go fuck your daddy, demfag.

  • ||

    I'll do you one better, although I briefly mentioned this upstream: They genuinely believe in the idea of "repressive tolerance," à la Herbert Marcuse. They are intellectuals believing in something so dumb that only intellectuals could believe in it (philosopher kings or, yes, TOP MEN).

  • Robert||

    I don't see how this would even achieve its intended aim. There's always a particular person still doing...whatever, even if they're working for a corp. So wouldn't each writer, editor, proofreader, typesetter, ink purchaser, Web artist, etc. have standing to sue for protection under the provisions of state & federal constitutions?

  • Hash Brown||

    I think it would enable the State to regulate the source of the individual's funding. So for example you'd be perfectly free to write an article about how Il Duce sucks balls, but if you want to get it published, so that more than a handful of people would actually see it, you'd have to find another individual who's willing to pay for it all directly.

  • Robert||

    I don't see how regulating funding would get that done, unless it be by some law that said nobody is allowed to have more than X amount of money—and that could be done without the proposed amendment anyway.

  • Robert||

    And yeah, I read Eugene Volokh's analysis and it still doesn't make sense. Are they going to say content-based restriction of speech would be allowed if you're using someone else's property to do the speaking, as a regulation of that person's property? That doesn't go now, so I don't see how it would go with corporate property in the case of that amendment. You'd be the one producing the content; the property (the pen, cell phone, etc.) doesn't produce it.

  • Robert||

    For example, as it is right now, you could steal a skywriter, and no law could restrict the content of what you could write in the sky with it. You'd be liable for the theft, of course, but not separately for anything you'd skywritten, because you don't forfeit your freedom of speech merely because you're in the act of a theft.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How they seem to rationalize it is that the corporation is not person, therefore they can dictate what it can publish and distribute it.

    "You'd be the one producing the content; the property (the pen, cell phone, etc.) doesn't produce it."

    They are saying you can be prevented from using tools that belong to a corporation to produce and publish your content, because the corporation has no rights with regards to the property it owns and cannot make an agreement with you without the government's leave.

  • Robert||

    What difference does that make? As I wrote above, there doesn't need to be an agreement for you to exercise your freedom of speech. If you can steal someone else's property and still have freedom of speech with it, what effect would regulating their right to contract have?

  • Robert||

    Come to think of it, there are explicit examples like that. The free speech provisions of many state constitutions, as in the PruneYard decision, have been interpreted explicitly as allowing you freedom of speech even using the private property of another. The freedom of speech has been determined as inherent in the speaker, not the property owner, so what good would a regul'n on the property owner do in terms of restricting freedom of speech?

  • sarcasmic||

    Collectivists detest voluntary collectivism. What else is a corporation than people voluntarily acting together towards a common goal? No force. No threats of violence. It's all voluntary.

    Collectivists hate voluntary anything. They like force. They like to threaten violence. They worship violence. They want power. Force. You don't want to be part of the collective? Fuck you! We'll make you contribute whether you like it or not!

    This whole "Individualists are islands" is bullshit. Individualists have no problem with collective action, so long as it is voluntary.

    Maybe that's why collectivists pervert the word "choice" into meaning "abortion."

    They want the word that means "voluntary decision" to mean "terminating a life."

    These people are fucked up.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Serious question.

    Should a corporation enjoy 4th Amendment protection?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Why the hell shouldn't it?

  • sarcasmic||

    si

  • dinkster||

    Were you lying about the serious part?

  • buddhastalin||

    What you say reminds me of comments to an article I read on Slate about how some local governments do not have enough money to test DNA that was collected in rape cases. Some exasperated commenters suggested that money be raised privately to run the tests. Other commenters were like, "oh me oh my, we can't have public functions be supported by private money. These tests must be paid for with taxes." It seemed that they would rather have this evidence spoil than be analyzed with yucky, voluntarily collected dollars.

  • Whahappan?||

    Where the fuck do they think taxes come from?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    As it is, corporations may not donate directly to political candidates. Which is stupid.

    As a classic liberal I support the CU decision.

    (time for the Peanut Gallery to tell me what I believe)

  • Irish||

    Most classical liberals don't need to say 'as a classical liberal.' Sort of like 'I'm not a racist, but...'

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No, because hard-headed conservatives post here. But jack-offs like you give them a pass because instead of being honest you act like a campaign is still in progress.

    Do you want to talk about how Rand Paul is joining with the fundie-nuts in the War on Drugs?

  • Irish||

    No, because hard-headed conservatives post here. But jack-offs like you give them a pass because instead of being honest you act like a campaign is still in progress.

    Lie. I go after John and Cyto every time they go full Republican on foreign policy issues. They aren't trolls though, and they are at least libertarian on most issues. You can criticize Republicans and the 'conservatives' who post here will often agree, but if anyone criticizes a Democrat, you fly in and defend them full bore.

    You're full statist, and spend inordinate amounts of time arguing in favor of other statists. There's no comparison between your idiocy and supposedly hard headed conservatives.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're Team Red all the way. You don't admit that us secular Hayek types exist.

    I fucking HATE you conservatives and statists. I am a Darwinist, atheist, capitalist, and supporter of meritocracy.

    Because I will never vote GOP again (until they shuck their statist theocratic notions) you will whine and lie.

  • ||

    Obama is an ardent defender of the second amendment. You said that. That is as mendacious as obama saying that the NSA program is transparent.

    Personally, I think you are mentally ill. The things you say remind me of the rantings of mental patients.

  • ||

    OB, Tony, and Merkin are all actually on the same team, Team Nutjob.

  • ||

    You're Team Red all the way.

    Says the Team Blue hack.

    You don't admit that us secular Hayek types exist.

    Is Irish even religious?

    Because I will never vote GOP again (until they shuck their statist theocratic notions)

    And you'll never vote Dem again either until they shuck their statist anocratic notions, right?

  • Irish||

    Is Irish even religious?

    No. I'm also not a Republican. PB loves to lie almost as much as he loves Barack Obama.

  • Jordan||

    When has Irish ever said anything about religion?

    We don't hate you because you're an atheist. We hate you because you're a fascist cocksucker.

  • ||

    Fuck off Demfag.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Ironically, a strictly legalistic reading of this amendment suggest it doesn't even change anything with regard to the first amendment. The first amendment doesn't mention the words "person", "people", or "citizen", except as regards the right of assembly specifically, and there it is the right of "the people", not "people".

  • Killazontherun||

    Should Microsoft and NBC, two corporate titans, be allowed to come together and form a cable network that 24/7 proselytizes the political speech held in common by both the elites of both corporations that advances their interest? I don't see how supporters of this amendment can give an affirmative answer to that question without making the kind of special exceptions to it that they supposedly are railing against in the first place.

  • Killazontherun||

    common by both the elites of both corporations that advances their interest?

  • ||

    Special exceptions are what progressives live for. They want a committee of TOP MEN to decide if your speech is worthy before you're allowed to speak.

  • ||

    See my comment above. Count two up.

  • Tyler Durden||

    What about contract law? If Corporations are no longer persons, then they can't agree to contracts which means they have no reason to exist.

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