6 thoughts on “WolfPAC

  1. uygur’s proposal would be better if he left out the first line.

    the first line of his amendment would actually end the existence of corporations altogether. corportations have always been legal persons, or at least they have been in american law since the supreme court decided dartmouth v. woodward in 1819. that is the decision that effectively created the private corporation as a legal entity under u.s. law, and that entity is considered to be an artificial person. that’s where limited liability comes from and that is what the process of incorportation is for. if you look at almost any contract with a definition section, it almost always defines “person” to include both corporations and “natural persons” (i.e. human beings).

    so in that sense, uygur’s amendment would be quite radical, effectively overturning 200 years of law in this country. i’m not sure how that would play out. in theory if they are not persons, then they can’t enter into contracts, or be sued. suddenly every business deal in the country would be subject to challenge.

    while the personhood of corporations is not new, what is new is extending constitutional rights to corporations. for most of this country’s history corporations were legal persons in the sense that they could own property, could sue or be sued, and paid taxes. they didn’t have political rights like the right to free speech, to vote, to run for office, etc., only human beings had those rights. since citizens united, corporations have the right to free speech. i wonder how much longer before they can vote or run for office?

  2. I have no problem with limited liability for the greater part of the workers in a corporation but I wouldn’t mind exempting the top officers from those limits.

  3. Right on, Ron! Hartmann is superb on the topic!

    I’m just thinking out loud here, but how about instead a motion/writ, or whatever the procedure/process is to nullify/rescind/amend/withdraw that inserted piece in the Santa Clara case? It may be easier than passing an amendment, especially since it simply shouldn’t have been inserted there in the first place. The proof is in the judge’s letter, found 100 years later. Sounds simplistic, I know.

  4. ron,

    did you read what i actually wrote in comment #2 above? i don’t see any contradiction between my point and what hartmann says in those links. in fact, some of the things hartmann says support what i said above. for example, in this interview (your third link above), hartmann says:

    “for hundreds of years of common law we had this distinction between natural persons, you and me, and artificial persons: churches, governments, corporations.”

    as i said above, corporations have always been considered to be legal persons for hundreds of years. a lot of contracts, statutes and other legal documents regularly refer to “persons” which are defined to include both “natural persons” (i.e. human beings) and “artificial persons” (i.e. corporations) what is new is the idea that artificial persons have any constitutional rights.

    i realize this may be futile to ask for a thread that has fallen back to page 4 of the blog, but could you please identify how you think hartmann refutes my above point?

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