Justice Morrison Waite announced, “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the 14th Amendment…applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”
Unfortunately this is a principle that has become precedent without hearing or debate. Such discussion may have uncovered some unforeseen side effects that have become apparent.
As a naturally created person, can Halliburton be drafted? Can Chrysler run for Governor of Michigan? Heck they don’t need to, they already have the best representation money can buy.
“Corporate political donations also grew rapidly; in 2000, business interests donated $1.2 billion to federally elected candidates, accounting for 75% of all political donations. With 20,000 lobbyists in Washington, corporations have become experts at getting their money’s worth in legislation and lax regulation in return for cash contributions.” The History of the Corporation By Lee Drutman
A classic example of the danger of national interests being trumped by corporate interests was the legislation to increase fuel-efficiency standards for energy conservation and reduction of dependence on foreign oil, introduced by Senators John Kerry and John McCain following 9/11. It is known that much of the money we spend on foreign oil goes to countries and organizations that threaten our safety and security. The bill lost 62 to 38-with the average no vote getting $18,000 in donations from auto companies and the average yes vote only $6,000.
In the current debates on health care reform and casino gambling who is dominating the debate, citizens or corporate interests? The time elected officials spend with corporate interests is time they are not available to meet and hear from citizens.
Corporations began as organizations that served the people and too often now the trend seems to be reversing.
Corporations are clearly not a “person” as defined by the 14th Amendment. They have no Constitutional Rights. They should be prohibited from all political activities including, political advertising, political donations or political lobbying.