Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter 5 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Ending the criminal insanity of the concept of corporations as people

By       Message Daily Kos       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 5   Must Read 4   News 2  
View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H2 12/1/13

Author 38168
- Advertisement -

Reprinted from by  Meteor Blades

(Image by Lucas O'Connor)   Permission   Details   DMCA
attribution: Lucas O'Connor
- Advertisement -

The Supreme Court's announcement that it will rule on whether secular corporations can deny health insurance coverage of birth control for its female employees got proper attention from Joan McCarter  here  and Adam B  here  Tuesday. Anyone who isn't worried about how the Court may rule hasn't been paying attention.

One of my favorite writers for decades has been Harold Meyerson. He's hit the bullseye on the birth control cases with his latest:

Individual believers and non-believers draw their own lines on all kinds of moral issues every day. That's human nature. They are free to say that their lines adhere to or are close to specific religious doctrines. But to extend the exemptions that churches receive to secular, for-profit corporations that claim to be following religious doctrine, but may in fact be nipping it here and tucking it there, would open the door to a range of idiosyncratic management practices inflicted on employees. For that matter, some religions have doctrines that, followed faithfully, could result in bizarre and discriminatory management practices.

The Supreme Court has not frequently ruled that religious belief creates an exemption from following the law. On the contrary, in a 1990 majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that Native Americans fired for smoking peyote as part of a religious ceremony had no right to reinstatement. It "would be courting anarchy," Scalia wrote in Employment Division v. Smith, to allow them to violate the law just because they were "religious objectors" to it. "An individual's religious beliefs," he continued, cannot "excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law."

- Advertisement -

It will be interesting to see whether Scalia still believes that now that he's being confronted with a case where the religious beliefs in question may be closer to his own.

The other issue all this raises: Where does this corporations-are-people business start and stop? Under the law, corporations and humans have long had different standards of responsibility. If corporations are treated as people, so that they are free to spend money in election campaigns and to invoke their religious beliefs to deny a kind of health coverage to their workers, are they to be treated as people in other regards? Corporations are legal entities whose owners are not personally liable for the company's debts, whereas actual people are liable for their own. Both people and corporations can discharge their debts through bankruptcy, but there are several kinds of bankruptcy, and the conditions placed on people are generally far more onerous than those placed on corporations. If corporations are people, why aren't they subject to the same bankruptcy laws that people are? Why aren't the owners liable for corporate debts as people are for their own?

Scalia, of course, does not let consistency get in the way of his ideology, so his vote on the birth control cases is hardly predictable.

As Meyerson (and so many of the rest of us) says, corporations are obviously not people. Unfortunately, the corporadoes and their marionettes in government and media have managed to mangle the law partway into a contrary perspective that is doing and poised to do grave damage to us flesh-and-blood people. That perversion of legal sanity needs to be crushed. By statute or constitutional amendment if that is what it takes.

Meanwhile, however, if corporations are going to be viewed as people in the rights department, then let them be people elsewise, too. No special protections, for example, from the death penalty. When their crimes warrant such punishment the way an actual individual's would, end their existence by tearing up their charter and turning them into non-entities.


- Advertisement -

Well Said 5   Must Read 4   News 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

articles reprinted from

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Just Read FBI Deputy Director McCabe's Statement Regarding His Firing By Trump... Just Read It.

Rush Limbaugh's Sponsor List

Comcast favors Fox News, charges $204 more for MSNBC package. ACTION NEEDED

Ron Paul takes lead In Iowa, Newt Gingrich falls off cliff

Republican Bill Bans Non-Church Marriages

Did Jared just secure his family's real-estate empire by facilitating a palace coup in Saudi Arabia?