Worst SCOTUS Decision of the Decade, Hard to Top


#81

[QUOTE=JPS;217736]

I think blanket critics of corporate personhood should deal with the practical reasons that it exists instead of just demonizing this one narrow manifestation. Those demanding that corporate personhood be rejected should be required to spell out in reasonable detail a functional alternative rather than just running harms.[/QUOTE]

Well since corporations and their high-priced lawyers have created a cluster fuck out of the situation, I’m willing to concede corporate personhood if there were legal mechanisms for the redistribution of shares to people who’s human rights are violated by a corporation and a prescription for internalizing environmental pollution/destruction as the financial responsibility of the corporation in their charters. Additionally, I would like to see some form of a three strikes rule, whereby corporate charters would be revoked for repeated violations of civil and criminal law.

Jason, since you are in law school could you comment on the claim that corporate personhood was inserted by the SCOTUS clerk who was a former railroad executive?


#82

[QUOTE=JPS;217736]As Volokh pointed out some weeks ago, it would be impossible without corporate personhood to ever buy or sell stock or other property involving corporations. Literally every single transaction (and large corporations involve thousands of transactions every day) would have to specify each and every stockholder in the corporation (potentially millions of names, complicated further by the ownership of shares by other collective entities). And every time a share of stock was sold, ALL currently executory contracts (thousands) would have to be amended with the new owner’s personal information. (Hopefully, this concern is specific enough to warrant being treated with more respect than just blowing it off in total.)

I think blanket critics of corporate personhood should deal with the practical reasons that it exists instead of just demonizing this one narrow manifestation. Those demanding that corporate personhood be rejected should be required to spell out in reasonable detail a functional alternative rather than just running harms.[/QUOTE]

I agree with the criticism. Though there are other practical problems with a blanket repeal of corporate personhood. It would be an impossible to have a modern economy if corporations were not allowed to own property. The number of ways in which economic activity would grind to a halt if the entire doctrine were repealed is impossible to foresee. That being said, I believe corporate personhood to be a very useful legal fiction. The rights granted to corporations under corporate personhood should be granted because they are empirically useful, not because it is the morally right thing to do (such as when you protect a humans right to own property).


#83

Corporations sold stock for over 200 years before there was ever a need to think of them as persons. There’s no need to move beyond the ‘legal entity’ to get access to commercial activities like contracts or owning property. Moving beyond ‘legal entity’ is what grants most of the constitutional rights in question to corporations.

I, for what it’s worth, take far more issue with ‘limited liability’ than I do with ‘corporate personhood’.


#84

Something to mull over for those who keep reciting the foreigner mantra:

2 USC 441 - Sec. 441e

(a) Prohibition It shall be unlawful for - (1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make - (A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election; (B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or © [U]an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 434(f)(3) of this title)[/U]; or (2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national. (b) “Foreign national” defined As used in this section, the term “foreign national” means - (1) a foreign principal, as such term is defined by section 611(b) of title 22, except that the term “foreign national” shall not include any individual who is a citizen of the United States; or (2) an individual who is not a citizen of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 1101(a)(22) of title 8) and who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined by section 1101(a)(20) of title 8.

The Citizens United ruling isn’t going to cause the big bad foreign corporations to suddenly flood the airwaves; it’s still illegal for them to electioneer.


#85

[QUOTE=JPS;217736]As Volokh pointed out some weeks ago, it would be impossible without corporate personhood to ever buy or sell stock or other property involving corporations. Literally every single transaction (and large corporations involve thousands of transactions every day) would have to specify each and every stockholder in the corporation (potentially millions of names, complicated further by the ownership of shares by other collective entities). And every time a share of stock was sold, ALL currently executory contracts (thousands) would have to be amended with the new owner’s personal information. (Hopefully, this concern is specific enough to warrant being treated with more respect than just blowing it off in total.)

I think blanket critics of corporate personhood should deal with the practical reasons that it exists instead of just demonizing this one narrow manifestation. Those demanding that corporate personhood be rejected should be required to spell out in reasonable detail a functional alternative rather than just running harms.[/QUOTE]

These Volokh arguments (legal complications absent corporate personhood) referenced in your post are just absolute bunk. I’ll get to it in a moment, but first:

This thread was not intended to be a discussion about “corporate personhood.” It was intended to be a discussion about how “corporate personhood” should be interpreted. For example, I vastly prefer last week’s interpretation to this week’s. However, I’ll happily engage your arguments on the necessity of corporate personhood. Its just that arguments about the necessity of corporate personhood are rarely cogent arguments against our criticisms of the ruling, since you can keep corporate personhood alive and just interpret it differently. Nonetheless, I’ll gladly oblige the topic.

The Need for Corporate Personhood:

Firstly, I’ll second Joey’s argument, I’m far more concerned with “limited liability” than I am with “corporate personhood.” I really don’t care about corporate personhood, I care about the ruling. However, truth be told, compared to the status quo, I’ll take either method of undoing the ruling: reinterpreting corporate personhood or scrapping it. Its just that I’m rather apathetic to the issue of corporate personhood either way.

Why the Volokh arguments are just, as someone would say, bad debate:

[list=1][*]Corporate Personhood is Unnecessary:

I keep hearing the argument, and poorly reasoned articles from Volokh, that state that we need corporate personhood for capitalism. Yet there are dozens of nations who are all financially competitive, have high living standards, exceeding ours either in quality of life or wages, or sometimes both, and they don’t have corporate personhood. You don’t need ‘corporate personhood’ to allow people to buy or sell stock, you can change the laws quite easily. If need be, I can list you fifty nations where you can buy or sell stock without corporate personhood, if you can list me three that actually accept the notion of corporate personhood.

[*]Removing Corporate Personhood Won’t Ruin Our Markets:

A large majority of these arguments about ‘what would happen if corporate personhood is immediately removed’ are patent nonsense. They strike me as the type of argument someone would agree with because it corroborates their political belief, but that no one could take seriously with deeper inquiry. Thats not to say that there aren’t legitimate arguments for corporate personhood, I’m sure there are a few, just that these most definitely aren’t it.

Corporate personhood isn’t the solution that fixed the problems of our laws, rather: corporate personhood is one of the many factors around which our laws were developed.

This is important, people keep saying that absent CP is the only thing making our laws work, that is only because our laws developed around CP. If we didn’t have CP, our laws would simply have developed differently. All capitalist societies have managed to provide for the needs of corporations and stock traders, and they don’t use CP to get the job done. If we remove CP, we can simply rewrite our laws. Its not hard, Congress does it every day. In fact, considering the very, very few cases where the notion of corporate personhood is explicitly required for the functioning of our laws (I actually doubt there is any specific case, rather just implicit assumptions about the functioning of laws), it wouldn’t be hard to pass a law that says:

Charters, ltd’s, corporations, etc. have the right to sell and trade stock as independent legal entities.

In fact, I’m quite sure that legal provision already exists. With a few pen strokes, it will match the new reality of a US without Corporate Personhood quite easily.

[*]Corporate Personhood Has Serious Constitutional Problems:

If we are to believe that corporations somehow are “persons” with the same legal rights as any other citizens in this country, then that has some significant implications:

Are corporations allowed to form into militias? If the first amendment applies, why not the second? In fact, why not all of them. Why don’t we analyze every single amendment applying to persons and see what implications that has for these charters. I’ll continue: do corporate charters have to be 18 years old to have full, legal adult rights? Just curious, they are persons, and there are legal and constitutional differences in persons based on age.[/list]

I don’t really care about corporate personhood, but some really ludicrous arguments are going unchallenged.

The Problems with the SC’s Ruling:

The real issue, for me at least.
[list=1][*]“Freedom of Speech”

Money is not speech, people, seriously. Why is this reasserted over and over without anyone giving a logical explanation for how money is speech. Money is property, thats why we have freedom of property for money, and freedom of speech for things like, well, you know, speech. And yes, I recognize that speech is an encompassing umbrella term, but I think you’re playing very loose with that term if you think money is so easily classified as speech.

For starters, am I constitutionally allowed to just go up to a senator and hand him cash? Say his campaign is over, can I still contribute money to him? If not, why? I am simply engaging in a speech right, why is this speech right not legal outside of election season? If its legal outside of election season, shouldn’t we just eliminate all laws governing gifts from lobbyists. Under SQ, lobbyists and corporations cannot give senators any gifts with value greater than $49.50. Lets eliminate it, if a CEO, or corporation, wants to buy your favorite senator a Maserati, let him do it. Apparently he has freedom of speech to do so.

[*]We Need to Analyze the Effects of Rulings on the Integrity of Democracy:

This has gone unresponded to repeatedly, so I’ll just repeat it again:

The Supreme Court established in its earlier ruling that the rights of corporations had to be limited due to their influence and its negative effects on democracy, this was completely ignored by the new Supreme Court ruling. The new ruling analyzed the issue of corporate personhood while completely ignoring parts of the previous decision that they didn’t want to deal with. I really think that these five justices cherrypicked the parts of the previous ruling, the interpretations of what amendments of the constitution should apply, as well as what was challenged in the trial, all to further their own political goals. I think some people used to call this judicial activism.

Now, given that there is a necessity to guard democracy against the negative effects of rulings, which no one has countere: I have shown repeatedly that money given in campaigns affects policies. I even showed how judges said that money given to them during election season affects their legal rulings. Are we going to pretend that our politicians are saints? Its very evident that they are influenced by the flows of money. Not only that, even if we are going to pretend, and this would be an absolutely terrible argument but I’ll entertain it: that money given has no effect on a candidates policies, then you still face the problem that the flows of money narrow the field.

Candidates unable to secure large sums of money needed for their campaign treasury simply aren’t seen as competitive, don’t get party backing, and don’t get the necessary exposure to reach voters. Money is access, and corporations have large influence in this access.

Does that mean I think that money is always the end-all factor in an election or a candidate’s policies? No, and thank god for that, thats why there are some wonderful elected officials and campaigns that are succesful despite the financial disadvantage, but the system overwhelmingly favors the wealthier candidates.[/list]

So no, I don’t think voters are drowned out, that the ‘voices of the disenfranchised’ have been dealt a mortal blow, that democracy will die tomorrow. But I think a serious damage has been done to it, and it will effect our elections and legal process for decades to come, for the entirety of my prime and well into my late adulthood. And it concerns me.

This ruling will make it a lot harder for candidates to resist corporate donations, and it will affect policies. Corporations already have excess sway in government. Honestly:

I dare anyone to claim that corporations don’t have enough lobbying influence in K street under status quo.

After today’s ruling, their excess influence is heightened. Ordinary citizens can still pool money, but the competition is now heavier, there are larger flows of money and campaigns will have to adapt by raising more money, meaning ordinary citizens have to donate more to be effective, or donate in larger groups.

This has a simple effect:

Many candidates from before will still have enough money afterwards.

Many candidates from before will also still have too little money after this ruling.

But a group of candidates who might have been financially competitive before this ruling will no longer be financially competitive because of the need for funds, and they will have to either take corporate donations or risk loss.

This ruling penalizes candidates who refuse corporate donations out of principle. They were already at a disadvantage, but now that disadvantage is much greater.


#86

[QUOTE=Bluestrike2;217740]The Citizens United ruling isn’t going to cause the big bad foreign corporations to suddenly flood the airwaves; it’s still illegal for them to electioneer.[/QUOTE]
Foreign corporations can charter in the U.S. Its perfectly legal for foreigners to charter their companies in America. American companies don’t even need to be headquartered in America, led by Americans either in the board or the executive positions, or even owned by Americans to count as American companies. Just an fyi. If a foreign company really wanted to do it, it wouldn’t be hard to file the necessary paperwork.

Of course, the foreign corporations argument, while worth discussing, is not really a new development. For one, American corporations already frequently have non-citizens as CEO’s, either foreigners or, in some cases, ex-convicts. For another, many “American” corporations are already foreign owned, or have their largest stakeholders as European investors or Saudi billionaires, or any of a myriad of other wealthy plutocrats that come from outside the U.S.


#87

Quick addendum:[QUOTE=JPS;217700]Also, the idea that corporate free speech combined with money gives them absolute ability to control public opinion is ridiculous. Exxon had billions, that didn’t stop them from being widely detested after the Exxon Valdez disaster. Enron, Nike, and Halliburton are additional examples of corporations that have been widely demonized in spite of their public relations efforts. The ability of a speaker to buy air time does NOT in fact mean that everyone will believe their message, or else Ross Perot would have been elected president in 1992.[/quote]

No one is claiming that corporations just got superpowers. Only that their influence is significantly strengthened. Having money does not mean everyone believes your message, but it was good enough to get Ross Perot 18.9% of the vote. More than any other third party had achieved since the Bull Moose Party of 1912, and that was led by a former president, so was hardly even a third party.

Thats my point: money has an effect, and elections are decided in the margins. No election is decided purely by money, but the influence is there and very noticeable. Let me put the argument statistically to give an example:

Lets say corporate donations give you a 2% edge.

If a candidate has a 5 point lead, then the corporate edge won’t help you win. But if its a close race, then that money can make the difference that you need.

No one is claiming that money is the magical end-all be-all, so stop treating the argument as such. What we are saying is that money has an effect, and that effect was increased.

As for your arguments on corporations that are hated, I’d give you the same response. Money is not magic, but it gives a large edge. The missteps of Exxon and Enron resulted in a massive blow to public opinion (although Exxon has largely recovered from that by now), that doesn’t mean money doesn’t have influence, it simply means corporations can screw it up in other ways. Sure, you can defraud people of billions, sure, you can cause one of the worst industrial accidents in years, you can do a lot of things that will counteract your financial spending. However, financial spending still allows you to do things you would not be able to otherwise. Enron had significant access to K street and even met privately with Bush in crafting the U.S. energy policy. They still got to be hated because of their defrauding, but their wealth gave them greater access, and greater opportunity to fuck up.

Companies still need to play it smart, but wealth gives them more tools. And thats the problem here.

To claim that corporations are microcosms that reflect the entirety of the American political sphere, or are even accurate representations of the diversity of opinion, would be ludicrous.

And thats why you don’t make that claim. But without making that claim, pointing out that there is diversity in the corporate sphere is irrelevant. Competely irrelevant. They are not representative of the American political discourse, neither proportionately nor in terms of diversity.

There will always be diversity, but corporations will definitely all have different opinions on public policy than citizens. You already said that corporations are out to further their own interest, there are areas where that may overlap (or not conflict) with that of common citizens, and there are definitely areas where they do not, corporate money gives them access in both areas.

Take, for example, corporate loopholes in tax policies. I don’t think you can find me any citizens that would vote for corporate loopholes in tax policies. Make it a referendum and see the support you’d get. Yet those policies frequently pass, in fact, they pass every single day. The reason for that is that there are no corporations putting their weight behind the issue of closing those loopholes. Those voices are extremely rare in the corporate sector. Besides, your field is politics, I don’t think I have to explain how prisoners dilemma works in that situation.

And lastly, its bad to interpret the argument as being anti-corporate. There are many companies who are also hurt in the process because they lack the financial resources to compete with the larger spenders of lobbying. These companies lose access to contracts, watch other companies qualify for new loopholes that they don’t qualify for, and suffer from many more disadvantages because they don’t have the lobbying power. All these things can determine which companies succeed and which ones fail, which perverts the free market process. In fact, a lot of my dislike for this Supreme Court policy lies in beliefs that are much more free market than they were in the past.

I could list you free market objections to corporate influence in politics all day. But if you want, you can just read Adam Smith on it yourself.


#88

I don’t rely on authority as an absolute trump, AK, but when you are blowing off the arguments made by a bona fide expert (Volokh is not only a law professor, but an elite law professor who is widely cited in Corporate Law casebooks), I think your burden is much higher than simply a sweeping proclamation that his arguments are “bunk” supported by paragraphs of pure rhetorical flourish that does not engage the legal details at all.

Frankly, I buy his expertise and detail over your vague generalities and unwarranted assertions. Prof. Volokh (along with Prof. Steven Bainbridge, another noted professor with expertise actually specific to this narrow area) draws out specific scenarios of the problem that abolishing corporate personhood would introduce. Even apart from the extreme differences in knowledge and expertise that call into question your sweeping characterization of his points as “pure bunk”, the specificity of these scenarios makes his arguments much more persuasive than your vague and apparently emotional disparagement.

I also maintain that “anti-corporation” is an accurate description of the ideology and frequently demonizing rhetoric that underlies the effort to destroy corporate personhood. The way that corporations are treated as different from other collectivities (e.g. unions, non-profits, 501©(3) organizations) clearly indicates a normative bias against them.


#89

Jason,

You’re approval of arguments tends to the framework you predispose as the only legit format for a specific topic issue (usually its whether its academic enough). Non-legal arguments are just as legit as your parroting of legal arguments you read somewhere. Additionally, many of the so called progressives and anti-corporatists or w/e term you’ve ascribed to us, have made nuanced claims about our concerns. Your categorical denial of our concerns because they are not specific legal arguments is elitist. I don’t need to read elite legal experts to tell make arguments about democratic theory. If you wish to push this legal domain over the discussion you’ll find yourself the only one capable of making legit claims and those classically liberal ideals that allow debate to flourish will be stifled by your petty insistence that we concede to your format preferences. At best it’s a wash given that the decision was 5-4. That means there is room to dissent in the legal arena but since I don’t have the training that requires I don’t want to subject myself to an onslaught of your elitist condescending rants.


#90

[QUOTE=JPS;217754]

I also maintain that “anti-corporation” is an accurate description of the ideology and frequently demonizing rhetoric that underlies the effort to destroy corporate personhood. The way that corporations are treated as different from other collectivities (e.g. unions, non-profits, 501©(3) organizations) clearly indicates a normative bias against them.[/QUOTE]

This statement doesn’t apply to me. I would like to see the abolition of unions, npo’s, and 501c3’s just as much as corporate personhood.


#91

[QUOTE=JPS;217754]I don’t rely on authority as an absolute trump, AK, but when you are blowing off the arguments made by a bona fide expert (Volokh is not only a law professor, but an elite law professor who is widely cited in Corporate Law casebooks), I think your burden is much higher than simply a sweeping proclamation that his arguments are “bunk” supported by paragraphs of pure rhetorical flourish that does not engage the legal details at all.

Frankly, I buy his expertise and detail over your vague generalities and unwarranted assertions. Prof. Volokh (along with Prof. Steven Bainbridge, another noted professor with expertise actually specific to this narrow area) draws out specific scenarios of the problem that abolishing corporate personhood would introduce. Even apart from the extreme differences in knowledge and expertise that call into question your sweeping characterization of his points as “pure bunk”, the specificity of these scenarios makes his arguments much more persuasive than your vague and apparently emotional disparagement.[/quote]
You want to talk about vague generalities and “unwarranted assertions”? I just gave you two full length posts on the line by line, and you dismissed them with three sentences, JPS. Three sentences.

[QUOTE=JPS;217730]I put a good deal of effort into that post in an attempt to be comprehensive in making the argument. Since even that effort is dismissed out-of-hand as inadequate, I frankly have no reason to continue participating in the discussion.[/QUOTE]

Try applying your standards to yourself this time.

Look, its much easier for you dismiss my arguments as “emotional disparagement” than it is to actually engage them on the merits. But if you actually want to win an argument, you have a burden of rejoinder, which you don’t provide. I’m going to have to remind you that good debate involves “second-line responses,” and “but my guy is an expert” is not a second-line response. Especially when you’re referencing the wrong expert, Ilya Somin wrote that article, not Professor Volokh. Personally, I could care less who wrote it, the logic was bad either way.

Its just way to easy to dismiss arguments without response by reasserting the “expert’s” (read: your own) opinion, especially when experts who don’t agree with you don’t count as believable experts (see your earlier comments on Stevens).

If you want to win this argument, then you have to show me an impediment to Congress fixing the buying/selling of stock without “Corporate Personhood.” Somin never accounts for that argument, and neither do you. Its only logical to conclude that the argument is, therefore, deeply flawed.

Like I said, these arguments assert the difficulty of removing corporate personhood by ignoring the status quo’s ability to correct itself. Thats never a good argument; it is either very deceptive - or, merely, poorly reasoned. You’ll see I was being quite favorable by interpreting their arguments as only being bunk. The specificity of these arguments is merely a mask for the lack of underlying logic, hopefully in the specifics people miss the greater picture: the fact that we have a legal branch capable of responding to the judicial.

For all I know, your “experts” analyzed from within a certain framework, such as legal ramifications absent a changing status quo; thats perfectly fine for academia, but disconnected from the practical realities that we are discussing on this thread.

[QUOTE=JPS;217754]I also maintain that “anti-corporation” is an accurate description of the ideology and frequently demonizing rhetoric that underlies the effort to destroy corporate personhood. The way that corporations are treated as different from other collectivities (e.g. unions, non-profits, 501©(3) organizations) clearly indicates a normative bias against them.[/QUOTE]
Interestingly, you addressed none of my criticisms of the Supreme Court ruling and jumepd straight to your favorite part: all our criticisms are just driven by our emotional anti-corporate bias. Look, it would be so easy to turn this on you, but I know that would just give you another excuse to go down that line of debate instead, and I’m getting pretty tired of even engaging it. So how about you actually engage the crux of my arguments instead of arguing over what labels you want to apply to them.

You can think whatever way makes you happy, I’ve stopped caring; but if you can’t actually engage the arguments, then thats all that matters to me. However, for your benefit: you consistently gloss over all the nuances of our arguments and attack the caricatures instead, then you use your caricatures as ammunition to attack us with so that you can claim we’re: emotionally anti-corporate, driven by emotion, lacking in logic, betraying the hypocrisy of progressives, bla bla bla, whatever else you want to prove to yourself. There is a term for this in psychology, its called: Confirmation Bias. If you supposedly have this great command of logic and never give into emotion, why don’t you display that on this thread for a change and engage arguments with attention to their nuance, rather than devolving the debate into a discussion of archetypal caricatures. This way I can avoid these red-herrings that engage nothing and distract everyone.

I said it before, and you quickly forgot it as you re-used your favorite ‘criticism,’ if it can be called that, but your argument does not apply to me in the least, and neither does it apply to Zach. I’ll say it again: I’m (we’re) perfectly fine with the restriction applying to every single organization and ‘collective’ or ‘charter.’ I make no exception for anyone.

(And, off-topic but for the record, since you keep bringing it up: I have no special love for 501©’s or unions. Teamsters are not representative of my political ideals, I don’t support auto-workers on tire tariffs, and most unions are largely motivated by self interest. There is some overlap between their self-interests and my political beliefs, but there are also large differences, especially when they support regulations that hurt market mobility just so they can reentrench their temporary gains, these things only lead to problems in the long run.)

I studied economics, a lot of my beliefs are rooted in economic thought which, yes, includes a lot of free-market beliefs (its just that I don’t gloss over the hypocrisies of a lot of free-market argument, where they use the ideal condition as an argument for their proscribed political action, when the actual conditions of that market differ heavily from their theoretical model).

So try and respond for once, its far too easy to just dismiss arguments. Who knows, you just might end up liking it.


#92

[QUOTE=JPS;217754]
Frankly, I buy his expertise and detail over your vague generalities and unwarranted assertions. Prof. Volokh (along with Prof. Steven Bainbridge, another noted professor with expertise actually specific to this narrow area) draws out specific scenarios of the problem that abolishing corporate personhood would introduce. Even apart from the extreme differences in knowledge and expertise that call into question your sweeping characterization of his points as “pure bunk”, the specificity of these scenarios makes his arguments much more persuasive than your vague and apparently emotional disparagement.
[/QUOTE]

JPS,

I’ve been hunting on the volokh conspiracy for the articles you cite, as I think they would make for fascinating and enlightening reading, but it’s proving difficult. Would you mind posting the URLs for these to make my life a little easier? The ones you’ve posted earlier on this thread seem more general in their tack; I’m really keen on the “specific scenarios of the problem that abolishing corporate personhood would introduce” that you cite.

Thanks,
Ankur


#93

If corporate personhood implies the full panoply of constitutional rights, wouldn’t that mean hostile takeovers are unconstitutional?

Afterall, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist [Amd. 13]. Seems pretty clear that the whole idea of a hostile takeover is to force one corporation to work for another one…


#94

Stevens is all, “corporations aren’t people, asshole!” And I’m all, “Didn’t you meet the Bush family, fuckwad?” Also: Lil’ drunk right now.

from Scalia’s twitter


#95

[QUOTE=Alan;217765]If corporate personhood implies the full panoply of constitutional rights, wouldn’t that mean hostile takeovers are unconstitutional?

Afterall, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist [Amd. 13]. Seems pretty clear that the whole idea of a hostile takeover is to force one corporation to work for another one…[/QUOTE]

Alan, since you are a bona fide legal expert who is actually allowed to engage whoever posts on Volokh’s blog, can you indicate that there is some merit to my criticisms, so that a certain someone will actually engage the issues instead of dismissing it out-right?


#96

Hajeer,

Your post raises some interesting and valid points, yes. Perhaps the biggest argument against the “oh no, the sky will fall without corporate personhood” argument is the "empirically denied - other nations don’t have CP and yet they have thriving corporate empires.


#97

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to interview Professor Allen Shoenberger from Loyola-Chicago Law School on the podcast and got to talk to him about Citizens United and recent Gitmo issues. His critique of the Citizens United decision was fairly scathing, but before I try to represent his point of view I need to do some more research myself. A couple of interesting highlights: (a) he urged everyone to read Stevens’ dissent in its entirety; (b) he quipped “it’s not clear this decision [upheld the first amendment]…this is about a distant form of bribery and I think everyone agrees bribery is inappropriate … Justice Black would not have respected this decision.” Now–there’s a lot of analysis behind those claims, so rather than writing them off, feel free to [URL=“http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shared_sacrifice/2010/02/02/shared-sacrifice-nightly”]listen to the podcast (where I’m admittedly not at my best) to hear all the stuff he has to say.


#98

[QUOTE=stannard67;217791]Yesterday we were fortunate enough to interview Professor Allen Shoenberger from Loyola-Chicago Law School on the podcast and got to talk to him about Citizens United and recent Gitmo issues. His critique of the Citizens United decision was fairly scathing, but before I try to represent his point of view I need to do some more research myself. A couple of interesting highlights: (a) he urged everyone to read Stevens’ dissent in its entirety; (b) he quipped “it’s not clear this decision [upheld the first amendment]…this is about a distant form of bribery and I think everyone agrees bribery is inappropriate … Justice Black would not have respected this decision.” Now–there’s a lot of analysis behind those claims, so rather than writing them off, feel free to [URL=“http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shared_sacrifice/2010/02/02/shared-sacrifice-nightly”]listen to the podcast (where I’m admittedly not at my best) to hear all the stuff he has to say.[/QUOTE]

For some perspective, I think it is also important to read CJ Roberts’ concurring opinion where he discusses the decision’s implications for stare decisis and judicial restraint.

I’m not really up on constitutional law (all I have taken is one undergraduate semester discussing mainly separation of powers), so its not really relevant to the First Amendment.

But, it is an interesting read, and he definitely answers the argument that they “overturned 100 years of precedent”. Not sure really how I feel about his defense, but definitely worth reading.


#99

Yes, it might be possible to solve for the scenarios Somin and others have outlined regarding the abolition of corporate personhood by Congress setting up an alternative legal doctrine. Unfortunately, critics of corporate personhood have failed, in spite of their voluminous rhetoric, to spell out exactly what such a structure would look like. Theirs is a case without a plan text other than “abolish corporate personhood”. If the details of the plan were sufficient to avoid the disadvantages pointed out by Somin and others, perhaps those details should be spelled out by the critics of corporate personhood prior to their complaining about those details not being taken into account by defenders of corporate personhood.

And the fact that it only took three sentences to point out this critical defect should be held against thee rather than me, AK.


#100

When you admit that Congress probably could fix it by law (and it could), then there is no “critical defect.” Its just common sense. At this point, you are simply being infinitely regressive by asking for something as ludicrous as specific statutes. If you’re not asking that, I already gave you plan text:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217751]Congress does it every day. In fact, considering the very, very few cases where the notion of corporate personhood is explicitly required for the functioning of our laws (I actually doubt there is any specific case, rather just implicit assumptions about the functioning of laws), it wouldn’t be hard to pass a law that says:

Charters, ltd’s, corporations, etc. have the right to sell and trade stock as independent legal entities.[/QUOTE]

And its not a defect of critics either. It is simply a cheap shot by Somin. Thats why I said the argument was bunk. Anyone can see that the argument is logically flawed and just a tool to score points with people who share his political convictions. It doesn’t persuade anyone. There are literally hundreds of ways Congress could write the statute, all of them would give corporations the same simple rights. For inspiration, look to any other country on earth where companies buy or sell stock.

So now, are you actually going to respond to my post? My post responding to you is still standing there, and you skipped every other argument, in order: 1. empirically denied, Europe / everywhere else on planet earth, 2. never explicitly required for U.S. law, 3. companies can form into militias now? / charter age, 4. money =/= speech, 5. effects on democracy, 6. candidates hurt. (Plus the addendum post, but you can get a free pass on that, its pretty obvious that your criticism missed every nuance and went for the caricature, so lets focus on the actual arguments.) You dismissed all of that, saying “the specificity of these scenarios makes his arguments much more persuasive than your vague and apparently emotional disparagement.” So I definitely hold your three sentence blanket-dismissal against you, especially since you are so insistent that other people treat your arguments with full respect. How about you follow your own standards for a change?

And thank you, Alan, its appreciated.