Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Citizen Corporation

Montesquieu defined Political Virtue as the love of law and of one's country. And, that political virtue was arduous and hard to come by because to achieve it one had to move passed self interest to acting in the best public interest of all.

In the first case that the Supreme Court heard this year, in fact they came back early to hear it was a case concerning a corporation which is claiming that since corporations have the right of free speech, and that the FEC is trying to abridge this right (Citizens United v FEC). This standing of citizen is courtesy of a pre-oral argument made by the Chief Justice Waite in 1886 that the court was then of the opinion that the 14th amendment applied to corporations Citizens [ Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad (118US394, 1886)] that has become ingrained as precedent.

The interest of corporations is not equal to that of citizens--they have no vested interest in the state, in the community, in anything save turning a profit.

It is time that corporations either are held as citizens--and thus, must act not in their own self-interest (i.e., their own profit), but in the best interest of the public good--or they cease to exist.

The oral argument of Citizens United V FEC[Reargued].pdf

editorial with history of the impact of Ch.Justice Waite's pre-argument statement

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