The single greatest thing I’ve ever heard discussed in a presidential debate

Posted: October 25th, 2008 by Militant Libertarian


When it was Nader’s turn to ask Baldwin a question, I was FLOORED by his choice! (paraphrasing from memory):

What is your opinion of the Civil War era Supreme Court opinion that gave corporations the same rights as individuals, thus perverting the legal definition of the word “person”?

Chuck’s answer that he was in complete agreement with Ralph that this is one of THE major issues of our times was a defining moment of the debate. The coming together on this issue between a long time idol of the “left” (whatever that means) and another who will appeal strongly to those on the traditional “right“ (whatever that means) is something that needs to be spread far and wide amongst all Americans.

Here is a synopsis of the ruling from…

The biggest blow to citizen constitutional authority came in 1886. The US Supreme Court ruled in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, that a private corporation was a “natural person” under the US Constitution, sheltered by the 14th Amendment [(even though that amendment had been written and ratified in 1868 to protect the rights of freed slaves) [3]] , which requires due process in the criminal prosecution of “persons.” Following this ruling, huge, wealthy corporations were allowed to compete on “equal terms” with neighborhood businesses and individuals. “There was no history, logic or reason given to support that view,” Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas wrote 60 years later. [4]


Of course the reverse side of this tired old coin is that we are now treated as “corporate entities” without our knowledge. Whenever you sign a “contract” with the word “person” in it, you are assumed to have a whole stable of attorneys on retainer to put yourself on even terms with corporations.

This leads us down some wacky rabbit holes like this (link updated) (click where it says “To See My Personal Check Click Here Then Click Zoom Icon). I tried it by scanning the signature line on one of my checks at 4800dpi, and darned if it ain’t true! Try it yourself!

Anyhow, this whole subject really needs to be exposed, especially to those on the “left”. How can we do it?

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
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