The Problems of Corporate Personhood
Because of corporate personhood and corporate constitutional rights, the ordinary, natural person has become a second-class person in the eyes of the law.
- People who have to work for wages as corporate employees lose their constitutional rights (such as free speech) when they step onto corporate property, according to the courts.
- In any dispute people have with a corporate person, they are confronted with the economic penalty of having to buy justice from lawyers and courts, which for the corporation is a tax-deductible expense. For an international corporation, a million dollars in legal costs hardly affects the bottom line; for a real person, a thousand dollars in legal costs may mean missing a rent or mortgage payment.
- Even if ordinary people try to work together, as in a labor union, they are not afforded the same privileges as a corporate person.
- Finally, corporate contributions can influence political thought through the corporate media. Without ever giving a penny to a politician’s campaign, the corporate media would have enormous control of the political process through their ability to filter news and opinions. Dependent on other out-of-control corporations for their own advertising income, they have no reason to anger their real clients by impartially reporting the news.
- The enormous amounts of money that corporations are able to use to affect the political process, offer them absolute control of government and society.
Corporations use their legal status as persons to claim equal protection under the law, free speech, the right to remain silent in criminal cases, and protection from searches. Corporations have used these “rights” to corrupt our citizens, government, and legal system; to treat workers and small businesses as economic prey; and to destroy the environment we all depend on to sustain life itself.
We the People Can Change this
Help us correct this fundamental error made by the Supreme Court: corporations should be subject to state and federal regulatory laws, without the ability to hide behind constitutional protections as natural persons.
The goal of Move to Amend is to fix this problem by passing an amendment to the Constitution that forces elected officials to once again represent We the People.
Please join the Santa Cruz County affiliate of Move to Amend in getting this amendment passed. Check the events listing on this page for ways you can participate. Send us an email if you have questions.