Kiobel v. Shell Oil Corporation: Supreme Court Gives Corporations Free Pass

June 4, 2013

Several months ago, we reported on a case before the Supreme Court, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, in which nine activists from the Ogoni community in the Niger Delta (the ‘Ogoni Nine’) were executed for protesting against the devastating impact of Shell’s operations there. A case was filed under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) in the US, and was decided in April.

Corporations Patent Human Genes

May 28, 2013

Angelina Jolie made the headlines recently when she revealed she had an elective double mastectomy, because she carries the BRCA-1 gene, which dramatically increases the chance of a woman developing breast or ovarian cancer. 

The naturally occurring gene has been patented by Myriad Genetics and gives them the sole right to test for the gene. Jolie can afford the expensive test, and the resulting surgeries, but most women cannot.

This case is now before the Supreme Court.

Corporations deserve privileges, not rights!  Get ten people to sign the Motion to Amend petition this week!

Democracy is Coming... to the U.S.A.

May 21, 2013
Register now for . . . The Democracy Convention!

Many of you have been waiting for the news, and here it is: Registration is now open for the 2013 Democracy Convention!

This 2nd Democracy Convention will be an exciting opportunity for individuals and organizations from around the country to connect with and learn from each other in the service of building a stronger democracy movement.

More than one conference, the Democracy Convention actually houses -nine- conferences under one roof.

Law Follows Culture

May 15, 2013

When it comes to constitutions, the application of law, and common sense, the Supreme Court of the United States could learn a thing or two from President Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania.

Nationwide Day of Action Against Corporate Personhood -- May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013

Protests Planned Nationwide Against Supreme Court Ruling that Corporations Are People

Activists in 77 cities will be protesting against corporate rule and political corruption on Friday, May 10. This date marks the 127th anniversary of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad decision, in which the Supreme Court first ruled that corporations are "persons,” entitled to rights under the U.S Constitution. 

“127 years ago corporate lawyers were able to exploit the 14th Amendment – intended to ensure equal rights for African Americans – and convince the Supreme Court that they deserved Constitutional protections intended for human beings,” stated Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, national director of the Move to Amend coalition. “Since that date we have seen a steady expansion of corporate power and wealth at the expense of the rights of people and communities. We’re protesting today to say enough is enough!

Court Rules Corporate Right Not to Speak Trumps Workers' Right to Information

May 8, 2013

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a National Labor Relations Board rule requiring most private sector employers to post a notice informing employees of their right to unionize.

The labor board had originally said that an employer’s failure to post the notice would be considered an unfair labor practice, resulting in penalties, but the circuit court said the board would be acting illegally to punish an employer for expressing a statement or in this case, for failing to post a statement under orders by the labor board.

The labor board’s rule told employers to post a notice, informing workers of their right to form or join a union, to strike, to bargain collectively and to act together to improve working conditions.

The federal circuit court issued an injunction in April 2012, suspending the labor board’s rule, after two lower courts differed on whether the board had overstepped its powers.

The circuit court cited several Supreme Court rulings to reach its decision that employers have a right to disseminate views as well as a right not to disseminate views. The court relied on First Amendment rulings that prohibit the government from telling people what they must say, like telling schoolchildren they must recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Divine Incorporation?

April 26, 2013

An arts and craft chain by the name of Hobby Lobby is suing the Federal government for the right to force employees to abide by the owners’ religious beliefs. The Green family ownership claims that the right to exercise their religion has been violated by recent legislation. Hobby Lobby is now the largest corporation to claim religious freedom as a “person” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). A major flaw with the Green’s claim is that articles of incorporation make Hobby Lobby a separate entity from its owner.