Corporate Personhood..

Submitted by Sarah Gonzales on October 13, 2005 - 6:22am. :: | |

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WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln said democracy refers to a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people", and only human beings should be able to participate in the democratic process; and

WHEREAS, corporations are artificial entities separate and apart from human beings, corporations are not naturally endowed with consciousness or the rights of human beings and corporations are creations of law and are only permitted to do what is authorized under law; and

WHEREAS, based on misinterpretations of judicial rulings in the 19th century, corporations claim to be persons, possessing the rights of personhood, including free speech and other constitutional freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, interference in the democratic process by corporations usurps the rights of citizens; and

WHEREAS, corporations claiming such rights of personhood have influenced and interfered with democratic processes by lobbying and pressuring our legislative bodies, making campaign contributions which dominate election campaigns, and using the media to substitute corporate values for community and family values; and

WHEREAS, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black stated in a 1938 opinion, "I do not believe the word ‘person' in the 14th Amendment includes corporations"; and

WHEREAS, corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution, the people have never granted constitutional rights to corporations, nor have we decreed that corporations have authority that exceeds the authority of the people of the United States;


* No corporation should be deemed a person nor should be entitled to the same rights and protections as those guaranteed only to persons under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
* We support education to increase public awareness of the threats to our democracy posed by corporate personhood
* We encourage lively discussion to build understanding and consensus on appropriate responses to those threats.
* We support efforts in hosting town meetings to draft laws or ordinances addressing the legal fiction of corporate personhood and other threats that corporations pose to our democracy.

Original written Feb. 2006. Updated Feb. 2008 by B. Crosier