Worst SCOTUS Decision of the Decade, Hard to Top


#101


#102

When you admit that Congress probably could fix it by law (and it could), then there is no “critical defect.” Its just common sense.

If corporate personhood were abolished, Congress could also fail to act at all or could create something that would be even worse.

In the absence of your willingness to advocate for a specific alternative, it is reasonable to react, as Somin did, by assuming that abolition of corporate personhood is the limit of your interest and explain the disadvantages to such a shallow approach accordingly.

I AM responding to your posts by pointing out this continuing flaw in your advocacy. A response does not have to be the exact one that you wanted (absolute agreement, apparently) in order to be a valid response.


#103

What are the prohibitions for mandating certain requirements in the corporate charters themselves? I don’t see any problem in requiring corporations to take 100% responsibility for environmental destruction and injustice. Additionally, I think the distribution of stocks to victims of their actions would at least give them some say in the decision making process and access to shareholder meetings. I don’t think the abolition of corporate personhood will do much if charters are still written the way they are now.


#104

No JPS, you respond to an incredibly minute part of my post. I outlined everything else that you skipped and dismissed, and numbered it for your convenience, your argument is not responsive to them. You dismissed everything with one blanket statement. Seriously, follow your own standards. Full length post v. three sentences. There’s a lot you didn’t address, and still have made no attempt to address. You are being ridiculous by claiming I think a response is agreement, I think a response is a response. And there is no standard on earth by which you can claim you addressed any of the latter claims. You neither referenced, acknowledged, responded to, or defended yourself, implicitly or explicitly, from any of the other arguments. You completely skipped them, and then dismissed my entire post with a blanket generalization that boiled down to: Professor Volokh is a bona fide expert. Your subsequent follow ups, where you elaborated, minimally, for the first time, never expanded the scope of your criticism, they simply stuck to the issue of the specificity of replacing CP. They never touched any of the other issues that you dismissed. Seriously, follow your own standards. You can still respond, my post is still up there, in case you missed what I asked:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217796]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?[/QUOTE]

As for this argument on specificity:

[QUOTE=JPS;217802]If corporate personhood were abolished, Congress could also fail to act at all or could create something that would be even worse. [/QUOTE]

This is just absolutely ridiculous. The first part of your post “Congress could also fail to act” is just downright absurd to claim. I don’t think that anyone on planet earth would believe that our Congress, which is so heavily influenced by corporate money, would fail to allow corporations to buy and sell stock, when we own the world’s largest stock market, and every other nation on planet earth managed to provide for it easily. I’m going to skip to the second half, the only part which is believable.

The second half has no logical warrant. You are just being regressive. I think we can all agree that corporations have quite a say in politics, and that even if they didn’t, its in Congress’ best interest to make sure that the buying and selling of stocks continues (stopping it could result in a case of, I don’t know, economic collapse - capital outflow / liquidity reduction / etc). Its ridiculous to think Congress will just, oops overlook the issue. Congress will 100% make sure that the buying / selling of stock continues uninterrupted. It is unreasonable and unwarranted to think otherwise.

So considering that the risk of something worse cannot be that buying/selling stock is harmed by the legislation, it only leads to reason that you must be referring to something else entering the bill that has some negative effect, but to whom, how, or why now is never specified. There is no reason to believe that reforming the basis under which corporations sell/buy stock will have unique negative effects that any other piece of legislation dealing with finance couldn’t have. None. Congress can pass stupid legislation, amendments, resolutions, bills whenever they please. There is nothing unique about this situation to make that any more likely or relevant to our discussion. The criticism is vague and non-unique.

And I already gave a specific enough suggestion:

Legal entities are allowed to buy and sell stock.

Done. Or, mentions of people buying / selling stock can be fixed with the addendum that corporations / etc can buy / sell stock too.

These criticisms are weak. Whatever criticism you have, it can easily be rectified with a pen stroke, and there is no reason to think that removing CP would uniquely worsen the SQ. I’m sure that whatever law Congress would want to pass would be discussed, in Congress, and that they would try damn hard to make sure the buying or selling of stock goes through uninterrupted. Thats not a partisan issue, every senator would vote for it. You are trying to create an argument where there is none. Negative externalities are non-unique and happen daily without this change.

[QUOTE=JPS;217802]In the absence of your willingness to advocate for a specific alternative, it is reasonable to react, as Somin did, by assuming that abolition of corporate personhood is the limit of your interest and explain the disadvantages to such a shallow approach accordingly.[/QUOTE]

It is completely unreasonable since Congress would take care of the other related issues on its own. My interest being solely on removing CP does not mean that my advocacy inevitably results in those scenarios. It is simply an incredibly regressive response. Removing corporate personhood doesn’t mean the rest of SQ never adapts. It is perfectly reasonable to expect SQ to pass legislation in a sensible way, there is no reason whatsoever to think otherwise, and, therefore, Somin’s argument remains a cheap shot and is completely irrelevant. And your insistence to continue it is just ridiculous. Out of all the arguments in favor of Corporate Personhood, you keep sticking with one that is flawed and completely irrelevant in the real world.

And lastly, I devoted half my post to the SCOTUS ruling apart from Corporate Personhood, and you never got to it (still haven’t). Like I said, SCOTUS’ ruling is, to me, what this thread is about, and you have repeatedly claimed that my opposition to SCOTUS is either emotionally based, hypocritical, lacking in logic, undeveloped, or some sort of liberal sheep mentality. If you are going to claim something like that, you better believe I’m going to expect a response from you when I elaborate on my positions. Especially when after my elaboration you again dismiss it as “emotional disparagement.” Unless you want to retract that, you have a burden to actually respond. You know, you could: point out how its still logically flawed, or admit you were wrong in making those statements about us but that you still disagree politically for xyz reason, or, hell, surprise me. But after talking a big game, you definitely have a burden to respond. You don’t get a free pass. Especially when you’re so critical of everyone else’s behavior in responding to your posts. I put a good deal of effort into that post in an attempt to be comprehensive in making the argument.


#105

[QUOTE=Mike_Cal’06;217766]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[/QUOTE]

clearly, everyone missed the best post on this thread.
:yes


#106

Didn’t miss it. Sometimes silent assent is the only adequate response to greatness.


#107

It is completely unreasonable since Congress would take care of the other related issues on its own.

Your presumption that Congress will (1) always act in response to a potential problem AND (2) always act perfectly, without error, and without making the problem even worse is convenient for you to evade having any duty of rejoinder, but it is nonetheless completely unjustified by all evidence and experience.

As for your repeated demands that I ignore this problem and instead respond only to the issues that you select for me, I choose not to grant you the authority to rig the debate in that way. If you have not thought through the issue sufficiently to be capable of discussing practical alternatives to corporate personhood, then I feel justified in renewing my contention that yours is purely an emotional position that is non-responsive to the real world.

But to explain myself a little, I’ll state why I am intransigent on this issue: Because all policies are imperfect. Thus, all policies have negative effects. In discussing a policy like corporate personhood, therefore, it is insufficient to simply talk about (perceived) negative effects of the policy and PRESUME that abolishing that policy would lead to a better policy. Rather, we need to COMPARE the policy to a specific alternative proposed policy. This is the exact same reason it is considered insufficient to run a debate case constituted only of harms without a plan.

I do not concede your continuing claim that my refusal to play a rigged game of harms-only debate constitutes bad faith on my part, AK. In fact, I would say that your insistence on only engaging one dimension of the issue and blowing off contrary views as “pure bunk” without ANY substantive rejoinder on your own part is the practice that tends to indicate bad faith and emotionalism.


#108

Nope. I have responded to every argument you have made, addressed it thoroughly, and defended mysel from each criticism. You do not reciprocate this at any point and blow me off. Your argument is bunk, and I warrant why. You claim the same in reverse, but never justify how. That the difference between us. You don’t follow your own standards. You focus on this issue as a cop out. You keep focusing on one “flaw” which I have thoroughly responded to, but you never address any of the flaws I point out in your argumentation. That’s the problem. I pointed out 5 more errors with your claims that you never address. And still haven’t, after repeated requests. You don’t follow your own standards.

Your responses here are also ignoring my arguments. I warranted why congress would respond in this particular instance, how your poor implementation arguments are unlikely, and why your phantom scenarios are non-unique. You simply extend through ink, go back and respond to those arguments. You quoted a tag-line, not the two earlier paragraphs of warrants. Besides, at this point your opposition has boiled down to Congress sucks, it has no unique relation to the debate anymore. Especially when I’ve already made arguments on the SQ with the Supreme Court being worse. Which you also ignored. I asked for a unique risk here, you haven’t shown anything.

Additionally, I ask you to be specific in you DA’s, and after all your complaints of specificity you have still not provided any examples, and this is after I gave you two “plan texts” that you could have compared with. Again, you repeat your vagueness claims by extending through ink.

So nice try. You dont follow your own standards. I do. The only emotional disparagemnt here is the guy who blows others off without warranting his positions or addressing competing claims. Claiming I’m enforcing one dimensional debate is the height of irony, JPS, when you repeatedly refused to address non-legalistic arguments earlier and only focus on one minute part of this discussion while ignoring the entire discussion on the effects of the ruling. I’m the only one addressing all arguments, legal and non-legal, while you’ve quietly backed away from your earlier arguments on the SC ruling and now focus purely on a CP technicality. It is both bad faith and bad debate. Especially when you repeat your ridiculous emotional disparagement insult again and again, all while you ignore all the warrants and logic.

There is a word for applying standards to others that you don’t follow yourself.


#109

At the point that you have now returned to the practice of just insulting me instead of responding to a repeated request for a specific alternative to corporate personhood, I withdraw from this discussion. You can now safely indulge in claiming victory, empty as though it may be.


#110

[QUOTE=JPS;217813]At the point that you have now returned to the practice of just insulting me instead of responding to a repeated request for a specific alternative to corporate personhood, I withdraw from this discussion. You can now safely indulge in claiming victory, empty as though it may be.[/QUOTE]

Hahahahhahahaaa. Dude, if you are going to look for an excuse to leave a losing argument, pick a good one at least. Alternatives bolded:

My very first post responding this week:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217751]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.[/QUOTE]

Reminding you in follow-up:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217796]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]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.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Re-reminding you, and even offering a second bonus plan text just in case:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217804]And I already gave a specific enough suggestion:

“Legal entities are allowed to buy and sell stock.”

Done. Or, mentions of people buying / selling stock can be fixed with the addendum that corporations / etc can buy / sell stock too.[/QUOTE]

Re-re-reminding you of what you skipped:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217811]Additionally, I ask you to be specific in you DA’s, and after all your complaints of specificity you have still not provided any examples, and this is after I gave you two “plan texts” that you could have compared with. Again, you repeat your vagueness claims by extending through ink.[/QUOTE]

You always gun and run. Come on the thread, insult everyone, call them sheep, hypocrites, accuse them of double standards, then, when you get called out, you always inevitably leave with another condescending rant, while refusing to respond to any counter-points.

Man, I had to get a law professor to second my post to get you to stop repeatedly dismissing it as being unworthy of your attention, and after you finally looked at my post, you admitted I was right, the criticism was unfounded, so you then simply quibbled over the different ways of implementing it. Thats telling.


#111

Editing…


#112

[QUOTE=JPS;217810]As for your repeated demands that I ignore this problem and instead respond only to the issues that you select for me, I choose not to grant you the authority to rig the debate in that way. If you have not thought through the issue sufficiently to be capable of discussing practical alternatives to corporate personhood, then I feel justified in renewing my contention that yours is purely an emotional position that is non-responsive to the real world.[/QUOTE]

How this makes sense, I don’t know, since my arguments are on a separate issue: the Supreme Court ruling sucked. (Hint, the thread is titled: “Worst SCOTUS Decision of the Decade, Hard to Top” - not, “God I Hate Corporate Personhood”). CP is a complete non-issue to me. Keep it, scrap it, I don’t care, just don’t make bad arguments about it.

Like I told you from the start:

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217751]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.[/QUOTE]

Your argument on Corporate Personhood is completely separate from my multiple arguments on why the Supreme Court made a bad decision. My argument is that the interpretation of Corporate Personhood sucked, so keep CP, I don’t need an alternative, my alternative is last week’s Supreme Court interpretation (I’ve been very clear on that). But you refuse to address my Supreme Court arguments, after you have repeatedly and continuingly insulted my reasoning and position on the ruling in every single post of yours as being “sheep mentality” / “hypocritical” / “emotionally biased.” I responded to you on CP as a favor to you since you kept bringing it up, its not at all related to my earlier arguments on the Supreme Court ruling being bad, arguments that you repeatedly insulted and dismissed. And after I respond, you kept continuing your insults against me while never addressing my counterpoints. All while being angry at others for not addressing your points.

I’m adding this at the end so everyone else can see your endless double-standards.

Here is JPS dismissing my arguments by saying he doesn’t need to respond:

[QUOTE=JPS;217802]I AM responding to your posts by pointing out this continuing flaw [alternatives to Corporate Personhood] in your advocacy. A response does not have to be the exact one that you wanted (absolute agreement, apparently) in order to be a valid response.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=JPS;217810]As for your repeated demands that I ignore this problem and instead respond only to the issues that you select for me, I choose not to grant you the authority to rig the debate in that way. If you have not thought through the issue sufficiently to be capable of discussing practical alternatives to corporate personhood, then I feel justified in renewing my contention that yours is purely an emotional position that is non-responsive to the real world.[/QUOTE]

Here is JPS angry at other people on the thread for not responding to him:

[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]

I don’t need victory from you, JPS. I just you need you to stop your condescending “holier than thou” rants in every thread where a liberal speaks.


#113

I assumed that your objection to the SC ruling took into account the underlying legal doctrine from which it flowed. I didn’t realize that you were either unwilling or unable to evaluate it in terms of its actual foundations and that you instead intended to artificially limit the discussion to a free-floating abstraction completely divorced for its surrounding and underlying issues. My assumption was supported by your lack of objection to Stannard’s explicit inclusion of the overall issue of corporate personhood. But nonetheless, my bad.

Ok, so I get it now. You hate the SC decision without reference to its legal reasoning or justifiability. In calling it the “worst … ever”, I’m now assuming that you believe the proper normative framework for assessing Supreme Court decisions is actually not legal principles, doctrines, or related policy considerations. Instead, you seem to believe that what is “best” or “worst” is determined by adherence between the decision and…well, something else unstated. Moreover, you are aggressively hostile to the notion that the conversation could or should be expanded to include such a broader evaluative framework. Furthermore, you find my speculation that the only possible reason for such constraints could be an emotional reaction to be intolerable (though I suspect you would find any and all alternative basis for disagreement and dissent to be equally intolerable).

Given your constraints and unwillingness to move beyond your narrow and arbitrary normative framework, I don’t think this is a particularly edifying conversation. So I decline to participate, especially in light of your inability to tolerate any substantive criticism without deeming it intolerably “condescending” and your persistence in returning to such stylistic objections literally every single time you run into a substantive disagreement/critique that you are unwilling or unable to deal with substantively. Suddenly then, I become too intolerably arrogant and condescending to be worthy of having any part in setting the continuing direction or content of the discussion.

I assure you, AK, that I am arrogant and condescending all the time in all areas of my life, and that nonetheless, many friends, colleagues, and adversaries manage to have strong and even heated debates and discussions that range freely across a wide range of issues without need for artificial constraints to a narrow, normatively loaded topic restriction or a constant need to complain about the tone of voice I use or my irritating tendency to bring in actual warrants for the status quo even when they conflict with idealistic desires.


#114

Nope. The only guy limiting this debate is you.

Firstly, I have not limited this discussion. You made arguments against my SCOTUS position, I engaged you, you made arguments on Corporate Personhood, I engaged you, you made new arguments about the need for an alternative, I provided two and engaged your reasoning. I even engaged underlying legal foundations, seriously, its in that post you skipped, I quote it later in this post. You have not responded to SCOTUS, you have not responded to the alternatives you’ve asked for, and you have not responded to the argument that there is no unique risk in Congressional reform. The only person limiting this discussion is you. You dismissed my entire post with three sentences and then refused to answer it until I give you a Corporate Presonhood alternative. Thats limiting a discussion, and you are very obvious about it. “Given your constraints and unwillingness to move beyond your narrow and arbitrary normative framework, I don’t think this is a particularly edifying conversation.” (The part of the post you keep skipping is in the bottom of this post, or is it only unwillingness to move beyond a narrow normative framework when others do it, but never when you do it?)

Secondly, you continue to try and dodge me by claiming I need to provide a CP alt, when I gave you two alternatives. You can’t complain that people aren’t engaging you when they provide everything you ask for and you skip over it, repeatedly, even when reminded over and over. I’m not going to let you keep ducking me. If you want to get off this thread, be honest about it, but don’t pretend people didn’t engage you, you got everything you asked for and more.

Thirdly, this thread is now two issues: one, do we need Corporate Personhood, and two, did the SCOTUS make a good decision or not. You have completely stopped responding to the latter issue, after insulting everyone who disagreed with you for being naive / hypocritical / sheep / group-thinkers. You then claim that you don’t need to my answers until I provide you a Corporate Personhood alternative (already have), but the two aren’t related. Arguments against the Supreme Court’s decision don’t require Corporate Personhood to be overturned. We can argue about the merits of Corporate Personhood, and we do, but we’re not asking to replace it. Trying to place that burden on us is disingenuous and deceptive (as well as a futile strategy for dodging arguments, since I gave you the alternatives repeatedly).

Fourthly, you cannot complain that others are limiting the discussion when you are the one to refusing to address competing arguments. You have, on no fewer than five occasions, explicitly defended your practice of not responding to others. You are the only one narrowing this discussion, when I make arguments on all levels.

You always gun and run. Finish the arguments that you start. You cannot get on a thread, insult everyone for their beliefs, then act outraged when someone says “There is a word for applying standards to others that you don’t follow yourself.” That is just ridiculous. You attacked me on SCOTUS, I responded in full, you then dismissed my entire post with three sentences and refused to engage me, all while continuing your insults. First you said it was because my arguments were non-legal, then I got a law professor to second it. Then you pretended it was because it had a critical defect, except now we’ve seen that “defect” is completely unresponsive. Your reasons keep shifting, but the pattern remains the same, you refuse to address my arguments. I’m curious what the next iteration will be.

Believe me, I can take your insults. I’m not the one threatening to walk off a thread because I was told that there was a word for people with double-standards. Its just that I won’t let you play the saint after you do everything you accuse others of. That act is tiring. Stick to the arguments.

These are the arguments you have refused to answer: (and yes, it includes a discussion about the underlying legal justifications of the ruling)

[QUOTE=Arabian Knight;217751][list][*]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 really don’t 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.[/QUOTE]
If there’s a part of the reasoning you think is incorrect, address it, and I’ll happily expand it. I don’t shy away from an argument. And I don’t make excuses to dodge arguments.

[QUOTE=JPS;217818]A constant need to complain about the tone of voice I use or my irritating tendency to bring in actual warrants for the status quo even when they conflict with idealistic desires.[/QUOTE]
Actually, I love it when you bring up “warrants.” You know why? Because I get to rebut them then watch you quietly drop the issue or completely shift out of them, all while upset at me for pointing out that you brought up a bad argument. Examples:
[list=1][*]First you made a post (another bad Somin argument) that corporate influence in elections actually offers a “turn” since corporate money gets more voices in the election. I pointed out how his argument explicitly only worked for wealthy millionaires, and how his reasoning was economically flawed. [url=http://net-benefits.net/showthread.php?p=217627#post217627]See this post. You then tried to shift into saying that I wasn’t responding to the underlying legal implications, when the post had no legal analysis whatsoever, and legal analysis was completely unresponsive to your claim that you showed how corporate money is good for democracy. You dropped this entire line of argumentation on the effects of corporate money and tried to retreat into legalism, which was never discussed in your post or link. (You always retreat here when you can no longer defend a point.)

[*]Then, you made a post that argued that corporate money does not affect elections. I pointed out how the post had no warrants, and had an earlier post showing the implication money had on candidate’s policies. You never responded to this either, and simply ended with saying that you could criticize my links also, but you never did, even after I asked you to. As usual, you hint that you have an argument, but never provide it and want people to just take your word for it.

[*]Then you went for Somin’s absolutely absurd claim that “no CP destroys the stock market”, to later admitting I was right after engaging my arguments.

Over the course of our discussion, you have shifted all the way from Somin’s argument that “Corporate Personhood is necessary for American capitalism to survive” to your own argument that “sometimes Congress implements laws poorly.” That is a giant shift. Clearly I was correct in arguing that Somin’s argument was bunk when you admit that Corporate Personhood is not necessary. Your arguments now are only that there is a risk associated with Congress passing laws, which is a completely different argument, and a generic complaint to any time Congress acts on anything. Somin never made the argument you are now defending. Your new argument is different in scope and implication.[/list]

Whats irritating about you isn’t your warrants, thats the part I like, its the double-standards and the holier than thou act you play afterwards while you dismiss everyone else. Its how when you can no longer defend an argument you try to turn the blame on others and pretend you did them a favor by talking to them. How should I put it? [QUOTE=JPS;217700]And yes, that’s hypocritical. The better response is to just make a better argument. Efforts to restrict speech from others indicates a lack of confidence in the strength of one’s own argument.[/QUOTE]


#115

This is just a battle between Hajeer and Jason and its USELESS. There have been several pointed criticisms made by people who disagree with Jason but in typical fashion he avoids arguments that don’t fit within his belief system. I caveat this by saying that I would like to corporate personhood abolished and think Hajeer’s point that many countries have thriving stock exchanges without these rights is a good warrant to the contrary. Additionally, I think Jason’s arguments demonstrate the futility of trying to abolish the doctrine.

In terms of organizing a political movement against corporate power I think its more pertinent to avoid the hooplah associated with abolishing the legal doctrine and rewrite corporate charters in a way that gives them full personhood ex; criminal culpability for its board of directors in human rights violations and environmental injustice, internalization of environmental destruction costs, and reparations for affected communities. These are practical demands that would make corporations more accountable.


#116

Jason’s arguments don’t demonstrate the futility of abolishing the doctrine, he has already conceded that it is perfectly possible to abolish Corporate Personhood without running into the problems he has been discussing all thread long:

[QUOTE=JPS;217794]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.[/QUOTE]

So his (current) argument is rather that the new doctrine has to be crafted carefully. I can’t craft an entire doctrine in my spare time, none of us can, but you put some legal minds to it they can get the job done easy. Its perfectly possible to abolish the doctrine without doing any harm to our economy.

You can’t have it both ways, Zach. You can’t keep the doctrine and solve the problems (without getting the SC to change their ruling). I would agree with forcing corporations to be more responsible for their actions. But that doesn’t solve the issues we’re discussing all thread:

[list=1][*]The Supreme Court ruling and the effects of unlimited corporate spending in elections on the integrity of the democratic process.

[*]How the SC decision essentially means Corporations have access to the full panoply of constitutional rights, including the second amendment. And the legal difficulties and inconsistencies associated with their ruling.

[*]The negative effects of corporate personhood.[/list]

I agree with your reforms on “criminal culpability” in spirit, but the problem there is the difficulty of proving the Board of Directors was complicit in the crimes of a company if you cannot prove their awareness of the crime, even if it seems damn obvious. To implicate people in a crime that you cannot prove they are aware of is unconstitutional and would run into legal challenges and difficulty. I do think laws should be passed to make corporations more accountable for their actions, to “internalize the costs of externalities in their profit calculations”, but it won’t solve the other issues we’ve discussed all thread. It would simply try to address new and different issues.

I think there’s only two real options (if someone knows others let me know) to solve the current problem:
[list=1][*]Either the Supreme Court decision is overturned in some way, or

[*]Corporate Personhood is abolished and replaced with a legal delineation of corporate rights that includes all current rights in regards to managing assets and buying/selling stocks, but removes special rights such as the ability to spend money in elections the way voters would.[/list]

Those are the only real ways to tackle the problems in front of us.


#117

Further problems with the Supreme Court ruling:

Murray Hill, Incorporated is running for Congress. (Starting in the Republican Primary in the 8th District of Maryland.)

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/corporation-says-it-will-run-for-congress/

Full credit goes to Joey for the link. By the way, this is an excellent argument about the underlying legal problems of the Supreme Court ruling. Just like the argument on the second amendment, or Alan’s argument on involuntary servitude / slavery, or any of the other arguments that are going unresponded to.


#118

I think that mandating the internalization of environmental destruction and reparations for human rights violations would go a long way towards deterring corporations from engaging in malevolent behavior. Their effect on the democratic process would be meaningless in a world in which they are still accountable through their charter. I would say the source of corporate meddling in the democratic process is to create an environment of impunity. Without that incentive, I don’t see corruption occurring. At the very least, corporate ad spending could be traced through disclosure laws that would allow us to tie a politician to specific corporations. This would allow enable us to have another point in organizing against corporate power.


#119

Corporate Personhood is abolished and replaced with a legal delineation of corporate rights that includes all current rights in regards to managing assets and buying/selling stocks, but removes special rights such as the ability to spend money in elections the way voters would

That’s a start, though I would suggest that calling mere procedural equality*** “special rights” is bizarre in the same way that anti-gay Prop 2 advocates in Colorado were bizarre for saying that gay people having equal access to the courts was “special rights” (exactly the same term, just the opposite ideological direction – THINK ABOUT THAT). Corporations are the objects of extensive government regulation. To prohibit them from speaking with regards to such issues is to make the political discourse between corporations and anti-corporation activists extremely one-sided. Any reconstruction of corporate personhood (and what you are now suggesting is a reconstruction, not an abolition), would have to allow corporations SOME role in political advocacy in the interests of both fairness and good public policy (unless you make the extreme and frankly extremist assumption that corporations are ALWAYS wrong and their critics are ALWAYS right).

So, once again, more details as to your proposed alternative are required before it is possible to assess whether your ideas would be better, worse, or exactly the same as the current doctrine. You also need to think more deeply about the second-order effects of both getting rid of corporate personhood and the idea of limited liability – how would imposing such restrictions on “corporations” affect non-profit groups and unions that might happen to be incorporated for management reasons? Would you restrict your restrictions to for-profit corporations only? Would such restrictions have partisan effects that would privilege some groups while unfairly inhibiting others? Would you also apply them to LLCs and other business associations, or only “corporations”?

You have a lot more work to do to develop a truly coherent, well-thought position.

*** Please make sure you understand the distinction between procedural and substantive equality before you erroneously criticize this characterization.

P.S. Please stop telling grandiose and self-serving lies about what I have supposedly “conceded”. Such dishonesty should be beneath you.


#120

Zach, with regards to your focus on limited liability rather than corporate personhood, this happens to be the current topic in my Corporations Law class right now. I would suggest that the most productive and practical line of thought for this inquiry might be to articulate a clearer and more expansive doctrine of when to “pierce the corporate veil” rather than to do away with limited liability wholesale (which would probably destroy the stock market as we know it and destroy trillions of dollars of wealth that people are relying upon for retirement accounts through their mutual funds and 401k funds in the process).