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Personhood — Why Now?
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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.


1 Kryten42 { 09.18.09 at 9:10 pm }

Wow! Talk about kicking over the applecart!! LOL Go Sotomayor! 😀

I HOPE they decide against corporate ‘personhood’ and back date it 150 years! Then you’ll see the Corp rats run! LOL

Ehhh… I can dream! 😉

2 Bryan { 09.18.09 at 9:37 pm }

I doubt they’ll do the right thing, but she has put corporations on notice that they are not assured continued personhood, as they have long assumed. If one of the five corporate lackeys has to retire, things will get very interesting, because Sotomayor is a genuine literalist, not just a judge who claims to be. She rules according to the law, which is not something that will make the “conservatives” happy. The “conservatives” have been basing decisions on bogus claims for years, and someone who actually does research is a real danger to their game.