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Personhood

Koan at Corrente noted that Justice Sotomayor questions the basis of corporate personhood. She has a long history of doing extensive research on any case that she will rule on, and the cases involved in corporate personhood are weak, to say the least.

This concept goes back to Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. 394 (1886). If you read the opinion in the case you won’t see personhood mentioned, because it wasn’t decided in the case, as it wasn’t actually used as an argument by either side.

The issue rests on an aside by a Justice before the case is argued that the issue won’t be considered as a valid point. That comment is recorded and is the basis for all that follows. There is no basis given for the view, simply that the Justices seem to agree that the issue isn’t up for argument. There is no actual record of the thinking of the Justices, or their reasoning, just a comment that was reported as part of the proceedings.

Dday at Digby’s notes that The Colbert Report looked at the issue, the initial case on which all of this is based.

Given everything that has happened, and is happening because corporations are considered persons, it might be nice if the issue were actually brought before the court and resolved on its own merits.

September 17, 2009   2 Comments

Constitution Day

On September 17th, 1787 in Independence Hall in Philadelphia the original group of American politicians finalized the bill that was the Constitution of the United States.

While it did not take effect until March 4th, 1789, this was the framework of a new type of government that has existed since that time.

The Preamble makes it plain what we are supposed to be all about:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It might be a good idea if annually we had a joint session of Congress with the President in attendance and someone read the Constitution to them, because they sound really unclear on their job descriptions lately.

September 17, 2009   6 Comments

Not In The Onion, OK

It’s via Atrios, but this is from the Wall Street Journal: Tea Party Protesters Protest D.C. Metro Service

Rep. Kevin Brady called for a government investigation into whether the government-run subway system adequately prepared for this weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.

I checked and Kevin Brady is listed as (R TX 08).

He complained that because the government funded subway system didn’t put on extra trains on the weekend to accommodate this anti-government protest some people had to use the taxicabs that are owned and operated by private enterprise.

I think my mind just went into a logic lock. These people are totally FUBAR.

I wasted my time and money on political science courses – I should have gone with abnormal psychology.

Update: as noted by Fallenmonk in comments, Rep. Brady was one of those who voted against the stimulus money to enable DC Metro to replace aging cars and improve service.

September 17, 2009   8 Comments