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People, not corpoations

Bush wants judges who’ll interprete the constitution in strictly narrow terms, yet he owes his entire empire to an interpretation that’s extremely loose.

In Santa Clara Co. v. So. Pacific RR (1886), the Supreme Court, without discussion or attorney argument, simply pronounced that the 14th amendment – which assures due process and equal protection for “persons” – also applies to corporations, despite their designation as “artificial persons” by Chief Justice John Marshall. With Santa Clara, a blatant example of judicial “make-law” activism that conservatives abhor, corporations acquired constitutional rights and protections, as if an actual citizen. By merging citizenship rights with their enormous finances, limited liabilities, and access to government, corporations have become the very monopolies feared by the founding fathers who, as a check and balance, had demanded strong restrictions in corporate charters.

A strict, narrow interpretation of the constitution, which does not mention corporations, would reasonably conclude that a corporate business – by law a “fictitious entity” – is not a person. In principle, then, conservative judges should overturn Santa Clara, ironically overturning Bush’s corporate foundation in the process, restoring democratic government of, by, and for the people – not corporations.



Robert Lobell

Nevada City


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