Thursday, January 26, 2012


Childlike Thinking at The Nation

Here is an editorial at The Nation magazine about what it calls the "disastrous" Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010). The editors of the extreme left wing magazine cheer on the recent, foolish Montana Supreme Court's decision to rule opposite of the U. S. Supreme Court. The Nation also calls for an amendment to the Constitution to reverse the Citizens United decision of "corporate personhood rights." The amendment is titled: "Corporations are not people."

Of course, there is nothing in Citizens United which declared corporations anything other than a business organization chartered by the state and granted many legal rights to an undying entity separate from its owners and organizers.

Here is what the Court actually wrote:

The Court has recognized that First Amendment protection extends to corporations. Bellotti, supra, at 778, n. 14 (citing Linmark Associates, Inc.v.Willingboro, 431 U. S.85 (1977); Time, Inc.v.Firestone, 424 U. S. 448 (1976); Doran v.Salem Inn, Inc., 422 U. S. 922 (1975); Southeastern Promotions, Ltd.v.Conrad, 420 U. S. 546 (1975); Cox Broadcasting Corp.v.Cohn, 420 U. S. 469 (1975); Miami Herald Publishing Co.v.Tornillo, 418 U. S. 241 (1974); New York Times Co.v.United States, 403 U. S. 713 (1971)(per curiam); Time, Inc.v.Hill, 385 U. S. 374 (1967); New York Times Co.v.Sullivan,376 U. S. 254; Kingsley Int’l Pictures Corp.v.Regents of Univ. of N. Y., 360 U. S. 684 (1959); Joseph Burstyn, Inc.v.Wilson, 343 U. S. 495 (1952)); see,e.g., Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.v.FCC, 520 U.S. 180 (1997); Denver Area Ed. Telecommunications Consortium, Inc.v.FCC , 518 U. S. 727 (1996); Turner, 512 U. S. 62; Simon & Schuster, 502 U. S. 105; Sable Communications of Cal., Inc.v.FCC , 492 U. S. 115 (1989); Florida Starv. B. J. F., 491 U. S. 524 (1989); Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.v.Hepps, 475 U. S. 767 (1986); Landmark Communications, Inc.v.Virginia, 435 U. S. 829 (1978); Young v. American Mini Theatres, Inc., 427 U. S. 50 (1976); Gertz v.Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U. S. 323 (1974); Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Assn., Inc.v. Bresler, 398 U. S. 6 (1970). This protection has been extended by explicit holdings to the context of political speech. See, e.g., Button, 371 U. S.,at 428–429; Grosjean v. American Press Co., 297 U. S. 233,244 (1936).

It wasn't that the Supreme Court suddenly and out of the blue found "personhood" for corporations, you mental midgets; it's that the court stayed with nearly 80 years of precedent and found, yet again, that people who organize their business interest as a corporation do not lose their individual right of free speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Here's more from Justice Kennedy:

Under the rationale of these precedents, political speech does not lose First Amendment protection “simply because its source is a corporation.” (The identity of the speaker is not decisive in determining whether speech is protected. Corporations and other associations, like individuals, contribute to the ‘discussion, debate, and the dissemination of information and ideas' that the First Amendment seeks to foster”). The Court has thus rejected the argument that political speech of corporations or other associations should be treated differently under the First Amendment simply because such associations are not “natural persons.” (Citations omitted).

So, let's follow The Nation's thinking here to its rational conclusion. If corporations can be stripped of their First Amendment rights regarding political speech because they are not natural persons, then the New York Times Corporation and Time, Inc., to name but a few examples, would have no First Amendment rights at all. Congress could then pass any law abridging the hell out of any corporations' First Amendment rights. I am led to believe that The Nation is itself a non-profit corporation (since 1943) and so if it gets what it says it wants it will necessarily forfeit its First Amendment rights as well.

Is this what passes for rational thinking on the left?

Oh, and regarding your proposed Amendment to the Constitution. Good luck with that. Please expend a lot of money and energy chasing that dream.


Off topic, but the earlier post has disappeared. Re: US imperialism and Philippines. Found this interesting tidbit while cruising my favorite blogs during lunch. I didn't remember if you'd alluded to this or not:
"Two decades after evicting U.S. forces from their biggest base in the Pacific, the Philippines is in talks with the Obama administration about expanding the American military presence in the island nation, the latest in a series of strategic moves aimed at China."
via Neptunus Lex at
Yeah, I think Andrew talked about the so called Imperialism of America in terms of after we sacrifice to liberate countries from evil conquerers, we set up a base or two there and then never leave. The Philippines is an example of how wrong he is. All we really ask for of a permanent nature is a small space to bury our military personnel who gave the last full measure of sacrifice. Andrew's even been to the American cemetery in Luxembourg where Patton and a few thousand American soldiers (mainly killed during the Bulge) are buried. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think.

What's your favorite blog, Neptunus Lex?
Yeah all those stupid gravestones really made me believe in American exceptionalism. I'm gonna go buy some lotto tickets with a payday loan and vote 'not sure' on a bunch of online polls now. See ya
Well, Andrew, if you win lotto you have to split with us, since we drove to it.

I have a range of favorite blogs that I wander to maybe several times a week, sometimes several times a day. Fave econ blogs: cafe hayek, carpe diem, econ one (John Taylor's blog), Mankiw (sp), Tyler Cowen, Landsburg, econ log, McArdle, Hennessey, zerohedge. Fave legal blogs: Beldar, dandodiary, popehat, bainbridge, volokh (and of course I lurk at xda) Other faves: neptunus lex, black five, ace of spades, abu muqawama, coyoteblog, NRO, powerline, instapundit. And I thoroughly read the WSJ daily. Taranto's BOTWT.

I like Lex not only 'cuz I like the flying stuff, and he's got great commenters, but also he's a wonderful writer. Go read some of his archived posts from several years back about naval aviation, flight training, carrier landings, etc. He has a lovely way with words.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?