The “Citizens United Inc. v. Federal Elections Commission“ ruling in the first month of 2010 represents “Strike Three” called against the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Strike One” was “Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific RR Corp.“ . That case began the legal fiction that “a corporation is a person”, when a Gilded Age Supreme Court stupendously asserted that a corporation has all the rights that a living person has to due process and equal protection of the law, under the 14th Amendment, and flatly refused to hear any arguments to the contrary. That unjustifiable assertion in the headnotes, made without even recording a vote or publishing their legal reasoning on the subject in the deciding, concurring, or dissenting opinions, has become the cornerstone of corporate law in America, and the basis for the rise to dominance and supremacy of the multi-national corporation in national and world affairs. That assertion was unmistakeably contrary to the intent of Congress and the people when the 14th Amendment was ratified. The 14th Amendment was meant to overturn the notorious, slavery-affirming Dred Scott v. Sandford Supreme Court decision. It extended certain Constitutional rights to everyone (including persons who had previously been slaves) and prohibited the individual states of the United States from depriving “any person” of the rights of due process and equal protection of law. The Founders, Congress, those who wrote and ratified the 14th Amendment, and the people never intended those rights to belong to corporations.
“Strike Two” was “Buckley v. Valeo“ , the legal fiction that “money equals speech”, when the Supreme Court startlingly ruled that the employment of huge sums of money, including money from undisclosed sources, to influence elections and the policies enacted by government officials, was protected under the Constitution as “free speech”, thus extending the ignoble principle of legalized bribery to governance in America.
Strikes One and Two have already inexorably rendered the everyday American citizen virtually without a voice that can be heard, and without effective access to what should be our government. They have made a mockery of the hard-won universal vote, refuted the hallowed principle of “one person, one vote”, dishonored the costly, bloody sacrifices made to win, implement, protect, and extend the Declaration of Independence, and negated the drive through history for democracy and constitutional government that represents and serves the people.
“Strike Three” [CU Inc. v. FEC, in January 2010] rules that corporations have the unrestrained right to employ all the money and resources they wish, to establish, dominate and overwhelm the public discourse about anything they choose. It overturns a century of laws passed by our elected representatives, and legal precedents, and further defiles the Constitution, by ruling that corporations (including those owned by other corporations, or under foreign ownership and direction) and the super-rich, can employ their massive assets to consolidate their control of the two major parties, and the policies, laws, and judgments enacted by elected and appointed officials of all three branches of federal, state, and local government. Strike Three [CU Inc. v. FEC] threatens to conclusively end the American dream of a government that is of, by, and for the people, and establishes instead the profound legal travesty of government that is by and for the corporations, the super-rich, and the lobbyists.
These three Supreme Court strikes unjustifiably conferred the Constitutional rights that you and I legitimately have, on corporations, simply by declaring that a corporation is a “person”. A corporation could then grow to unlimited size and power, and live forever. In stark contrast to a “person”, a corporation has no natural needs, no conscience, and no soul. A corporation is without happiness, sorrows, or faith. A corporation has no allegiance to family, friends, or nation. A corporation is careless of elders, of children, or indeed, of any living things. Corporations are entities without love or morals. Corporations have not a thought or a care for ancestors or descendants. They are required by law to be motivated only by acquisitiveness and maximizing their own growth, assets, and income.
Huge trans-national corporations, which cannot bleed or be jailed for their crimes, now possess all the rights that were intended for living, breathing, mortal human beings – but without the responsibilities and liabilities and vulnerabilities that we humans have. The door has been thrown wide open for complete global corporate rule. This legalistic nonsense – this absurd and immoral definition of a “person” – is contrary to human rights, violates common sense, and dishonors and grotesquely distorts the intentions of the Founding Fathers, We the People, and those who represent us. Exxon-Mobil, AIG, GE, Toyota, et al, now claim the same precious rights as the Constitution guarantees to you and to me, to our families and neighbors, and to all human beings and the generations to follow. Magnifying corporate rights in this way shrivels and negates our human rights. It violates natural law and all that is sacred. It is dead wrong.
“Strike Three” means that it is now our turn to swing the bat. The five “Justices” (out of nine on the Court) who have thus consolidated and buttressed the already pervasive and wildly excessive control of government by huge corporations, should be impeached. The Constitution provides that only the Congress may impeach and remove a sitting Supreme Court Justice in the United States. Unfortunately, the Congress, and both major parties, are already deeply corrupted by the pervasive influence of corporate money, and corporations now control what should be our government. But in a democracy, and certainly in America, the people, alone, should control the government. We should demand impeachment of these five Justices now. But most importantly, as long as it takes, and no matter how difficult the struggle, we must obtain a full Constitutional reversal of the corrupted, indefensible, pronouncements of the Supreme Court in these “Three Strikes”.
We must have a Constitutional Amendment that declares:
(1) A corporation is not a person.
(2) Money is not speech.
(3) Only living human beings who are citizens have a right to influence government policy and elections.
(4) Every American citizen has the right to vote, and for that vote to be counted.
http://www.wisdc.org/wdc_petition.php (Sign this Wisconsin Democracy Campaign petition)
http://www.moneyedpoliticians.com/ (Get this book)
https://clydewinter.wordpress.com/category/constitutional-law/ (Read some plain talk, solid useful information, and common sense for a change)
http://democracyisforpeople.org (Help Public Citizen establish that “Democracy is for People“).
http://movetoamend.org (A corporation is not a person. Money is not speech. Amend the Constitution!)