Sunday, August 14, 2011

Corporations are People, Too!

With the arrival of the Iowa State Fair, the Republican debate, and the Ames Straw Poll on candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination, Right Detour temporarily breaks from the continuing history of republics to survey recent political developments of interest to conservatives.

The first dramatic scene at the Iowa State Fair occurred before the debate. At the fair, the candidates bid money for booths from which they meet and greet fair-goers and deliver speeches. During one of his speeches, Mitt Romney faced heckling from Democratic Party operatives. In the exchange, Romney pledged that he would not raise taxes on people in order to shore up Medicare. A couple of the hecklers shouted out, "Corporations!" Romney retorted that corporations are people, too.

This evoked more heckling from the activists and this response from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in which she accused him of committing a gaff and promptly repeated the Democratic Party demand for s"fair," i.e,  more taxes on corporations.

I am not lawyer, but Schultz, the Democrats debutante as party chair, appears appallingly ignorant about corporations.

Although the law makes some important distinctions, corporations are, in fact, people, in several ways.

The term, corporation, originates from Latin corpus meaning "body of people."

Corporations are people in the sense of its stockholders.

Corporation are people in the sense of its employees.

And corporations are considered "artificial persons" in corporate law.:

--Corporations have contract rights like individuals (Darmouth College v. Woodward ;1819)

--Corporations have property rights like individuals (SPG v. Town of Pawlett;1823)

--Corporations have 14th Amendment protections like individuals (Santa Clara RR v. South Pacific RR; 1886)

And part of United States Code reads, "In determining the meaning of any act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise, the words person and whoever include coporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies as well as individuals."

And it is corporate personhood that allows individuals to sue them and governments to tax them!

 Maybe Schultz needs an introductory legal studies class as much as Sarah Palin needs a history class.

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