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Supreme Court Allows Corporations to Buy Politicians

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Posts

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Help! Monsanto has figured out how to grow political candidates from seeds! They're 100% loyal to the company - we need lots o' weed killer, stat!

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Help! Monsanto has figured out how to grow political candidates from seeds! They're 100% loyal to the company - we need lots o' weed killer, stat!

    No, we need Piccolo, Krillin, and some other people to hold them off until we can brink Goku back to life.

  • MatrijsMatrijs Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    It's about the government not using the power we cede to it in order to take control of non-government sources of ideas.

    Unless they're 501(c)(3) corporations, foreigners, federal employees, prisoners, members of the armed forces, or students.

    And unless those ideas are commercial speech, obscene, state secrets, copyrighted, trademarked, contributions to a particular candidate, etc.

    Moreover, corporations aren't sources of ideas at all - their employees or shareholders are. Corporations are legal structures for businesses, designed to limit liability for the owners of that business. They, or rather their funds, are merely a means for propagating ideas that originate from someone else.

    Finally, I would point out the distinction between what you're arguing here and your earlier "It's the rights of the listeners" argument. This argument is about a speaker's right (or, in your phraseology, a "source of ideas"'s right) to speak. That's what allowed Citizens United to sue. If it were really only the rights of the listeners being affected, Citizens United, as a non-listener, would not have standing to sue.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I wish i could mix Ronya and Matrijs into one person. Then i would enslave that new hybrid person and use them as a source of cogent political arguments. It would be wonderful.

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  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Help! Monsanto has figured out how to grow political candidates from seeds! They're 100% loyal to the company - we need lots o' weed killer, stat!

    No, we need Piccolo, Krillin, and some other people to hold them off until we can brink Goku back to life.

    This post is full of win.

    TiSBcast.com - Home of This is Serious Business, a weekly roundtable podcast involving media, beer, and general merriment.
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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Goumindong wrote: »
    I wish i could mix Ronya and Matrijs into one person. Then i would enslave that new hybrid person and use them as a source of cogent political arguments. It would be wonderful.

    Ha. You and I still disagree over international trade, I think.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    It's about the government not using the power we cede to it in order to take control of non-government sources of ideas.

    Unless they're 501(c)(3) corporations, foreigners, federal employees, prisoners, members of the armed forces, or students.

    And unless those ideas are commercial speech, obscene, state secrets, copyrighted, trademarked, contributions to a particular candidate, etc.

    Moreover, corporations aren't sources of ideas at all - their employees or shareholders are. Corporations are legal structures for businesses, designed to limit liability for the owners of that business. They, or rather their funds, are merely a means for propagating ideas that originate from someone else.

    Finally, I would point out the distinction between what you're arguing here and your earlier "It's the rights of the listeners" argument. This argument is about a speaker's right (or, in your phraseology, a "source of ideas"'s right) to speak. That's what allowed Citizens United to sue. If it were really only the rights of the listeners being affected, Citizens United, as a non-listener, would not have standing to sue.

    And if it were really about the listeners' rights, then any given citizen who wished to view the documentary but was unable to would have standing to sue. Which they almost certainly did not.

    Though sometimes you wind up in disgusting legal situations where nobody can get standing to sue over an abuse of individual rights, because the abuse itself prevents. I'm coming up blank right now for an example, but I seem to remember one not that long ago. Also you wind up in situations where nobody can get standing to sue unless they're willing to risk going to (or actually go to) prison.

    So the standing argument isn't necessarily valid in all situations, but I'm pretty comfortable saying it's valid in this one.

  • SavantSavant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    It's about the government not using the power we cede to it in order to take control of non-government sources of ideas.

    Unless they're 501(c)(3) corporations, foreigners, federal employees, prisoners, members of the armed forces, or students.

    And unless those ideas are commercial speech, obscene, state secrets, copyrighted, trademarked, contributions to a particular candidate, etc.

    Moreover, corporations aren't sources of ideas at all - their employees or shareholders are. Corporations are legal structures for businesses, designed to limit liability for the owners of that business. They, or rather their funds, are merely a means for propagating ideas that originate from someone else.

    Finally, I would point out the distinction between what you're arguing here and your earlier "It's the rights of the listeners" argument. This argument is about a speaker's right (or, in your phraseology, a "source of ideas"'s right) to speak. That's what allowed Citizens United to sue. If it were really only the rights of the listeners being affected, Citizens United, as a non-listener, would not have standing to sue.

    And if it were really about the listeners' rights, then any given citizen who wished to view the documentary but was unable to would have standing to sue. Which they almost certainly did not.

    Though sometimes you wind up in disgusting legal situations where nobody can get standing to sue over an abuse of individual rights, because the abuse itself prevents. I'm coming up blank right now for an example, but I seem to remember one not that long ago. Also you wind up in situations where nobody can get standing to sue unless they're willing to risk going to (or actually go to) prison.

    So the standing argument isn't necessarily valid in all situations, but I'm pretty comfortable saying it's valid in this one.

    I think it was one of the wiretapping cases or other privacy issues where it was almost a catch-22 to have standing to sue the government for violating your rights. It was something like the evidence was classified, so people couldn't see for sure whether or not their rights were being violated, so they didn't have standing to sue.

    And yes, Yar's assertion that this is solely about the rights of the listener of speech is absurd given the nature of the SCOTUS as an appellate court. This case has to be about the rights of Citizen's United being violated, otherwise they would not have standing to bring the case before the Supreme Court to begin with.

  • ronzoronzo Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Savant wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    It's about the government not using the power we cede to it in order to take control of non-government sources of ideas.

    Unless they're 501(c)(3) corporations, foreigners, federal employees, prisoners, members of the armed forces, or students.

    And unless those ideas are commercial speech, obscene, state secrets, copyrighted, trademarked, contributions to a particular candidate, etc.

    Moreover, corporations aren't sources of ideas at all - their employees or shareholders are. Corporations are legal structures for businesses, designed to limit liability for the owners of that business. They, or rather their funds, are merely a means for propagating ideas that originate from someone else.

    Finally, I would point out the distinction between what you're arguing here and your earlier "It's the rights of the listeners" argument. This argument is about a speaker's right (or, in your phraseology, a "source of ideas"'s right) to speak. That's what allowed Citizens United to sue. If it were really only the rights of the listeners being affected, Citizens United, as a non-listener, would not have standing to sue.

    And if it were really about the listeners' rights, then any given citizen who wished to view the documentary but was unable to would have standing to sue. Which they almost certainly did not.

    Though sometimes you wind up in disgusting legal situations where nobody can get standing to sue over an abuse of individual rights, because the abuse itself prevents. I'm coming up blank right now for an example, but I seem to remember one not that long ago. Also you wind up in situations where nobody can get standing to sue unless they're willing to risk going to (or actually go to) prison.

    So the standing argument isn't necessarily valid in all situations, but I'm pretty comfortable saying it's valid in this one.

    I think it was one of the wiretapping cases or other privacy issues where it was almost a catch-22 to have standing to sue the government for violating your rights. It was something like the evidence was classified, so people couldn't see for sure whether or not their rights were being violated, so they didn't have standing to sue.

    And yes, Yar's assertion that this is solely about the rights of the listener of speech is absurd given the nature of the SCOTUS as an appellate court. This case has to be about the rights of Citizen's United being violated, otherwise they would not have standing to bring the case before the Supreme Court to begin with.

    Didn't some of the lawyers in the wiretapping cases get a bunch of documents accidentally sent to them that proved they had been wiretapped? I recall it being referred to as a "smoking gun" and was one of the main reason prompting the teleco immunity stuff

  • SavantSavant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    ronzo wrote: »
    Savant wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    It's about the government not using the power we cede to it in order to take control of non-government sources of ideas.

    Unless they're 501(c)(3) corporations, foreigners, federal employees, prisoners, members of the armed forces, or students.

    And unless those ideas are commercial speech, obscene, state secrets, copyrighted, trademarked, contributions to a particular candidate, etc.

    Moreover, corporations aren't sources of ideas at all - their employees or shareholders are. Corporations are legal structures for businesses, designed to limit liability for the owners of that business. They, or rather their funds, are merely a means for propagating ideas that originate from someone else.

    Finally, I would point out the distinction between what you're arguing here and your earlier "It's the rights of the listeners" argument. This argument is about a speaker's right (or, in your phraseology, a "source of ideas"'s right) to speak. That's what allowed Citizens United to sue. If it were really only the rights of the listeners being affected, Citizens United, as a non-listener, would not have standing to sue.

    And if it were really about the listeners' rights, then any given citizen who wished to view the documentary but was unable to would have standing to sue. Which they almost certainly did not.

    Though sometimes you wind up in disgusting legal situations where nobody can get standing to sue over an abuse of individual rights, because the abuse itself prevents. I'm coming up blank right now for an example, but I seem to remember one not that long ago. Also you wind up in situations where nobody can get standing to sue unless they're willing to risk going to (or actually go to) prison.

    So the standing argument isn't necessarily valid in all situations, but I'm pretty comfortable saying it's valid in this one.

    I think it was one of the wiretapping cases or other privacy issues where it was almost a catch-22 to have standing to sue the government for violating your rights. It was something like the evidence was classified, so people couldn't see for sure whether or not their rights were being violated, so they didn't have standing to sue.

    And yes, Yar's assertion that this is solely about the rights of the listener of speech is absurd given the nature of the SCOTUS as an appellate court. This case has to be about the rights of Citizen's United being violated, otherwise they would not have standing to bring the case before the Supreme Court to begin with.

    Didn't some of the lawyers in the wiretapping cases get a bunch of documents accidentally sent to them that proved they had been wiretapped? I recall it being referred to as a "smoking gun" and was one of the main reason prompting the teleco immunity stuff

    Yeah, that was the way that one of the Islamic groups was able to break the Catch-22 and get a case actually started without being immediately thrown out. The government was stupid enough to send them records of them being wiretapped.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yeah, it was the wiretapping cases I was thinking of. Thanks guys.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    I wish i could mix Ronya and Matrijs into one person. Then i would enslave that new hybrid person and use them as a source of cogent political arguments. It would be wonderful.

    Ha. You and I still disagree over international trade, I think.

    Whatever, I am sure we agree enough on enough things that the small quibbles aren't going to get in the way of an interesting discussion. I mean, what, i thought food U.S. +U.K. subsidies had long term adverse effects on developing nations due to poverty traps and other systemic problems and you thought it was a net positive because it drives the prices of their other exports down in comparison to ours as well as giving them the benefit of cheaper food? In the end its just a quibble over the relative size of the competing forces.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Savant wrote: »

    I think it was one of the wiretapping cases or other privacy issues where it was almost a catch-22 to have standing to sue the government for violating your rights. It was something like the evidence was classified, so people couldn't see for sure whether or not their rights were being violated, so they didn't have standing to sue.

    It wasn't "almost a catch-22" it simply was. Their case was thrown out on grounds of lack of standing. Standing which they did not have because the govt would not release information regarding who it was wiretapping. It would not even release it to the judge so that the judge could determine whether or not standing existed.

    The burden of proof was on the claimants and it was not met... so they could not sue to find out if they were being wiretapped/stop it.

    IIRC they went back to court once they attained the documents proving that some of them had been wiretapped.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Goumindong wrote: »
    No such laws exist. Corporations have "personhood" by way of common law and not legislation. By legislation they can be treated as people for certain sets of actions and rights that are necessary in order to make running a business efficient.

    Common law is binding law. While the 'corporations are people' ball got rolling by a suspect court decision, plenty of statutory law grew up around it. Common law, like statutory law, can be swept away by later decisions or legislative action. If Congress passed a law making corporations non-people that would arguably nullify the SCOTUS decision.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    No such laws exist. Corporations have "personhood" by way of common law and not legislation. By legislation they can be treated as people for certain sets of actions and rights that are necessary in order to make running a business efficient.

    Common law is binding law. While the 'corporations are people' ball got rolling by a suspect court decision, plenty of statutory law grew up around it. Common law, like statutory law, can be swept away by later decisions or legislative action. If Congress passed a law making corporations non-people that would arguably nullify the SCOTUS decision.

    Common law cannot be legislated away when it is not based on legislation. Common law in regards to rulings on specific legislation can but you cannot say that corporations do not have rights that have been expressly recognized by SCOTUS just like you cannot write a law that says people do not have rights that have been expressly recognized by SCOTUS.

    We may be a bit hazy here with regards to rewriting corporate charter, but i do not have any doubts that any law denying corporations first amendment rights would immediately be struck down as soon as it caused a corporation harm.

    Hell, they would take this very decision and say "you cannot restrict speech based on the identity of the individual" and that provision would then be struck down.

    edit: it as very clear by the wording that the person i was responding to originally was referencing legislation and not court opinion.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Common law cannot be legislated away when it is not based on legislation. Common law in regards to rulings on specific legislation can but you cannot say that corporations do not have rights that have been expressly recognized by SCOTUS just like you cannot write a law that says people do not have rights that have been expressly recognized by SCOTUS.

    I'm not trying to be difficult here but I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say. in the US. "common law" can most certainly be "legislated away". Why do you think it cannot be?

    SCOTUS ruled as it did because, in part, there is precedent (via court rulings ie common law) that a corporation is a person. If you "legislate away" the fact that a corporation is a person, then First Amendment rights do not apply to a corporation as a person.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Some common law can be legislated away. Some cannot. SCOTUS did not make a "determination on the law" here. They did not say "This is what we interpret the law to be, if it ought to be interpreted different the congress will fix it. They made a statement regarding what congress can and cannot do, full stop. If congress tries to say that corporations do not have these rights its now flatly unconstitutional because SCOTUS just told them they could not do that!

    This is one of the reasons why Steven's was so livid in his dissent.

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  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Common law cannot be legislated away when it is not based on legislation. Common law in regards to rulings on specific legislation can but you cannot say that corporations do not have rights that have been expressly recognized by SCOTUS just like you cannot write a law that says people do not have rights that have been expressly recognized by SCOTUS.

    I'm not trying to be difficult here but I honestly have no idea what you are trying to say. in the US. "common law" can most certainly be "legislated away". Why do you think it cannot be?

    SCOTUS ruled as it did because, in part, there is precedent (via court rulings ie common law) that a corporation is a person. If you "legislate away" the fact that a corporation is a person, then First Amendment rights do not apply to a corporation as a person.

    Generally, it is true that aspects of the common law can be legislated away. Tort reform, for instance, often entails statutory limits on the amounts juries can award in malpractice claims. This is an instance of the legislature legally stepping into an arena that is traditionally the province of the judicial branch alone.

    But in matters of constitutional law, case law as decided by the Supreme Court is extremely stubborn. You essentially need a constitutional amendment to undo it. In the context of corporate personhood, it is conceivable that if, say, the Arkansas state legislature attempted to revoke Wal-Mart's corporate charter, such a thing could be considered an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Moreover, corporations aren't sources of ideas at all - their employees or shareholders are. Corporations are legal structures for businesses, designed to limit liability for the owners of that business. They, or rather their funds, are merely a means for propagating ideas that originate from someone else.
    That's an interesting point, because it throws out this as a case of free speech at all. I mean, you're right, only people can really speak, and only people were speaking here. So... open and shut case, right?
    Matrijs wrote: »
    Finally, I would point out the distinction between what you're arguing here and your earlier "It's the rights of the listeners" argument. This argument is about a speaker's right (or, in your phraseology, a "source of ideas"'s right) to speak. That's what allowed Citizens United to sue. If it were really only the rights of the listeners being affected, Citizens United, as a non-listener, would not have standing to sue.
    Standing is not a problem here; it is not true that a Supreme Court ruling must only contain rationale which is derived directly from the standing of the party harmed. In other words, CU has standing, their movie was banned. The end. This does not then prevent the Supreme Court from making arguments about the true value of free speech. And how hard would it be to find someone willing to say, "I wanted to watch the movie but couldn't"? so it's a non-issue either way.

    As for the numerous exceptions, yes, we've discussed those, as did this decision. Government employees are held to certain confidentiality where it is necessary for their job. That is a decision to make sure certain government positions can function, not an attempt to steer political discourse in a preferred direction. There are also practical considerations in almost all of the other exceptions you listed - in each case it is a practical aim that is not about steering political discourse. This is different, this is a case of the sole purpose of the law being to steer political discourse in a preferred direction. And as the decision noted, that is above all else as to what the First Amendment was trying to prevent.

    Like I said a couples times before, yes, I know that there are exceptions. There being exceptions does not allow all conceivable exceptions. The decision was pretty clear about why this exception to free speech is not tolerable where others may be. Specifically, like I said above, it's because this is clearly nothing but the government trying to steer political discourse in a favored direction and has no aim other than that.

    The only exceptions that are the same in that regard are either the 501c3s or foreigners. As I said, I'm not really a fan of tax exemption for religion, nor of the government silencing them, but whatever, that would be a whole different thread (and was not too long ago). In the end, churches just risk losing their tax exempt status. And as for the foreigners, like I said, good luck trying to enforce that in the future, but either way I can only assume that the distinction there is the same distinction we might make regarding individuals that are foreign or not. There is an issue of sovereignty, I guess, another concept I'm not a huge fan of.

    Now, in regards to whether it is a listener's right, there are numerous court decisions that support this. And if you just sit and think about it for a moment, you ought to realize it makes a lot more sense.

    Oh, and campaign contributions. That's just giving money to a politician. That isn't airing a message of your own accord. I don't think money is necessarily always equal to speech. And the Court upheld this as well.

    None of these set a clear precedent that the government can decide that political speech of type X is just plain bad political speech and therefore can't be allowed to taint the minds of the population. That is a direct violation of the spirit of the First Amendment.
    Savant wrote: »
    I think it was one of the wiretapping cases or other privacy issues where it was almost a catch-22 to have standing to sue the government for violating your rights. It was something like the evidence was classified, so people couldn't see for sure whether or not their rights were being violated, so they didn't have standing to sue.

    And yes, Yar's assertion that this is solely about the rights of the listener of speech is absurd given the nature of the SCOTUS as an appellate court. This case has to be about the rights of Citizen's United being violated, otherwise they would not have standing to bring the case before the Supreme Court to begin with.
    In wiretapping cases they generally cite the harm of the "chilling effect" that was heavily cited here as well with respect to the standing of all the people not listed as parties to the case at hand. The idea is that maybe you can't provide the evidence that the government is wiretapping you, but you can provide evidence that you like to call your sister in Iraq and because of this law you're now afraid to. It's definitely on the outer bounds of what can be called standing, and is a little controversial, but it allows the judiciary to sidestep an abuse of power.

    Seriously, you guys do not have a point on the issue of standing. It wasn't even called into question here. There is no law or guideline or requirement that a decision rendered on free speech can only use logic that applies to speech of the particular party who has standing under the challenged law. The Court can and frequently does extend the supposed effect in different directions and considers others who are harmed in light of interpreting the law.
    mythago wrote: »
    Common law is binding law. While the 'corporations are people' ball got rolling by a suspect court decision, plenty of statutory law grew up around it. Common law, like statutory law, can be swept away by later decisions or legislative action. If Congress passed a law making corporations non-people that would arguably nullify the SCOTUS decision.
    Holy shit, no it fucking would not!! Are you being serious or just trolling at this point? There is absolutely NOTHING whatsoever in this entire decision that relies upon coporate personhood. Please at least try to understand that. Please show me where this decision was based upon the idea that a corporation is a person.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    mythago wrote: »
    Common law is binding law. While the 'corporations are people' ball got rolling by a suspect court decision, plenty of statutory law grew up around it. Common law, like statutory law, can be swept away by later decisions or legislative action. If Congress passed a law making corporations non-people that would arguably nullify the SCOTUS decision.
    Holy shit, no it fucking would not!! Are you being serious or just trolling at this point? There is absolutely NOTHING whatsoever in this entire decision that relies upon coporate personhood. Please at least try to understand that. Please show me where this decision was based upon the idea that a corporation is a person.
    Spoiler:

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    Spoiler:
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    How is this a mery-go-round? I acknowledged that the Court gave a brief nod to the numerous cases that acknowledge that free speech extends to corporations, but where does it ever say or even imply that a corporation is a person or that any of the decisions or citations or reasoning in this case has anything at all to do with corporate personhood?

    This is what makes me mad about people's reactions to this case. They are based mostly in ignorance.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    mythago wrote: »
    Common law is binding law. While the 'corporations are people' ball got rolling by a suspect court decision, plenty of statutory law grew up around it. Common law, like statutory law, can be swept away by later decisions or legislative action. If Congress passed a law making corporations non-people that would arguably nullify the SCOTUS decision.
    Holy shit, no it fucking would not!! Are you being serious or just trolling at this point? There is absolutely NOTHING whatsoever in this entire decision that relies upon coporate personhood. Please at least try to understand that. Please show me where this decision was based upon the idea that a corporation is a person.

    Yar,

    If the majority opinion existed within a political and cultural vacuum, you'd be correct. Otherwise, you're not.

    Pick one.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    No, he would not, since the Majority opinion flatly accepts the argument and its a necessary component of any equal protection issue

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar,

    If the majority opinion existed within a political and cultural vacuum, you'd be correct. Otherwise, you're not.

    Pick one.
    Your point, in less obfuscating terms, is that the dissenting opinion made one brief mention of how corporations aren't people. They noted that the majority completely ignored either side of such an argument, and the dissent also did not challenge anything in the majority opinion on the basis of personhood.

    The dissent also cited several Supreme Court decisions about how freedom of speech gives the speaker dignity and self-realization and so forth, which don't apply to corporations. If they could have cited opinions that made it clear that this was the value of free speech over the value of the listener, over the value of the marketplace of ideas, they might have ahd a point.

    The fact that the majority and concurring opinions made coherent and complete arguments without ever mentioning, relying on, or even implying personhood, and that the dissent couldn't even raise it as an issue with the decision other than as a general statement of support for the original legislation, ought to tell you something.

    In short, the statement that "removing corporate personhood nullifies this decision" is factually incorrect.

    A few more quotes from the decision to contemplate:
    By taking the right to speak from some and giving it to others, the Government deprives the disadvantaged person or class of the right to use speech to strive to establish worth, standing, and respect for the speaker’s voice. The Government may not by these means deprive the public of the right and privilege to determine for itself what speech and speakers are worthy of consideration. The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.
    All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech.

  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    Yar,

    If the majority opinion existed within a political and cultural vacuum, you'd be correct. Otherwise, you're not.

    Pick one.
    Your point, in less obfuscating terms, is that the dissenting opinion made one brief mention of how corporations aren't people. They noted that the majority completely ignored either side of such an argument, and the dissent also did not challenge anything in the majority opinion on the basis of personhood.

    The dissent also cited several Supreme Court decisions about how freedom of speech gives the speaker dignity and self-realization and so forth, which don't apply to corporations. If they could have cited opinions that made it clear that this was the value of free speech over the value of the listener, over the value of the marketplace of ideas, they might have ahd a point.

    The fact that the majority and concurring opinions made coherent and complete arguments without ever mentioning, relying on, or even implying personhood, and that the dissent couldn't even raise it as an issue with the decision other than as a general statement of support for the original legislation, ought to tell you something.

    In short, the statement that "removing corporate personhood nullifies this decision" is factually incorrect.

    A few more quotes from the decision to contemplate:
    By taking the right to speak from some and giving it to others, the Government deprives the disadvantaged person or class of the right to use speech to strive to establish worth, standing, and respect for the speaker’s voice. The Government may not by these means deprive the public of the right and privilege to determine for itself what speech and speakers are worthy of consideration. The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.
    All speakers, including individuals and the media, use money amassed from the economic marketplace to fund their speech, and the First Amendment protects the resulting speech.

    I'm still hung up on your insistence that this isn't a debate about "corporate personhood".

    If we take the decision and it's language out of the equation, the current discourse that thios decision has been included in is that of "corporate personhood".

    This isn't something that can be countered by any statements about "the decision".

    Legislation and reaction will follow with the discourse, so I tend to see this kind of literalism as obtuse from the beginning.

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Except that it is a misreading of the decision. Free speech isn't just about persons, and corporations were specifically affirmed as included into free speech under rationale that is not about individuals or persons. I guess what you're saying is, "yeah but people still see this as being about corporate personhood."

    To which I say, "they are wrong, and it pisses me off."

    I explained pretty clearly earlier that any future legislation or decisions that look to this one for support of a notion of "corporate personhood" will not find it. They will only find the dissent's affiirmation that corporations aren't people. So screw literalism or whatever concept you are evoking here; practically speaking, this is not about corporate personhood and will not effect anything regarding corporate personhood.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    By taking the right to speak from some and giving it to others, the Government deprives the disadvantaged person or class of the right to use speech to strive to establish worth, standing, and respect for the speaker’s voice.

    But its totally not about the individuals right to speak right...

    Yar, you're confusing the "possible harm to the public" argument for the "they have the right to hear it" argument. The right to hear speech is not enumerated in the constitution. If it was, it would mandate public information to the point where no private speech could be considered, since every person has the right to hear all the facts and opinions and individuals are not fair arbiters of what that is as they speak

    Now, you are right in that the argument in the decision is not about whether or not corporations are people. That is implicitly assumed. But saying that its not about that is retarded silly goosery, since to have a constitutional argument towards the point corporations need to be a protected class in this regards and it is that corporate personhood which grants them that class.

    As to why the argument is retarded even once it establishes where it comes from? Corporate persons and forms can in no way be considered disadvantaged against non-corporate persons and forms. They can in no way be considered disadvantaged because as they are made up of individuals they have every right that an individual does PLUS those that a corporation does.

    Once you factor in the fact that large majority share holders are able to influence the actions much more than other "equal equity partners" you have the fact that corporate speech actually damages the individuals that make up the corporate form, by using their equity to fund speech that they have no say in, or by using it to fund speech they may disagree with

    Such, this decision, rather than "depriving a disadvantaged person or class" actually empowers an already powerful person or class to use the resources of less advantaged people in their political goals.

    Its a fucking disgrace and so is anyone who argues its a good idea.
    Yar wrote:
    Free speech isn't just about persons, and corporations were specifically affirmed as included into free speech under rationale that is not about individuals or persons.

    No they were not. There was a damaging rational used in order to define what was good, but they were included into free speech under the rational that you may not restrict based on identity. This is a 14th amendment justification Yar and it requires that Corporations have a unique and personable identity. If they do not then they cannot be singled out in such a manner(as an identity) and as such can be treated differently than everything else(since rather than being a class or identity they would simply be a group of individuals and rules regarding their behavior would be dependent on the possible damages done within and without of the group).

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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    "yeah but people still see this as being about corporate personhood."

    To which I say, "they are wrong, and it pisses me off."

    Specifically, in response, I'd just want to point out that it is the overall discourse, not "facts of the opinion" which shape legislation and political response.

    In example, if the public and our representatives made this into a discourse on the "merits of spending money as an expression of speech" as a priority, then that would be what the conversation, practically, would be about.

    I totally understand your point of view, and, as I've said before, I think it's correct when viewing the decision in a "vacuum" without further discussion.

    What I think we're all getting hung-up on is that the decision has caused a legislative and theoretical conversation on "corporate personhood", and that regardless of the decision the Court needs to own up to more than the isolated language of the decision (majority and dissenting). Actions have consequences that are often unforeseen.

    EDIT:
    I explained pretty clearly earlier that any future legislation or decisions that look to this one for support of a notion of "corporate personhood" will not find it. They will only find the dissent's affiirmation that corporations aren't people. So screw literalism or whatever concept you are evoking here; practically speaking, this is not about corporate personhood and will not effect anything regarding corporate personhood.

    I wanted to address this, as well, if only as affirming the existence of the text.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Context has a meaning Yar. And it doesn't mean that they stapled stuff to the decision.

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  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    How is this a mery-go-round? I acknowledged that the Court gave a brief nod to the numerous cases that acknowledge that free speech extends to corporations, but where does it ever say or even imply that a corporation is a person or that any of the decisions or citations or reasoning in this case has anything at all to do with corporate personhood?

    This is what makes me mad about people's reactions to this case. They are based mostly in ignorance.
    I would point out you clearly don't know what corporate personhood is. And the entire decision centers on it. The central premise is that the law can't restrict a speaker's 1st Amendment rights even if that speaker wasn't a natural person but a legal person. That's the concept of corporate personhood right there. Go to the decision, hit Ctrl+F and look for "corporate identity." The decision is impossible to reach unless one extends the First Amendment to corporate 'persons'. Indeed, without the concept of corporate personhood, corporations have no non-statutory rights whatsoever

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ding! This is your daily reminder that corporations are a state-created legal fiction and, like many other such entities, would not enjoy First Amendment protections if not for a certain confusion over what that legal fiction really means.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    I would point out you clearly don't know what corporate personhood is. And the entire decision centers on it. The central premise is that the law can't restrict a speaker's 1st Amendment rights even if that speaker wasn't a natural person but a legal person. That's the concept of corporate personhood right there. Go to the decision, hit Ctrl+F and look for "corporate identity." The decision is impossible to reach unless one extends the First Amendment to corporate 'persons'. Indeed, without the concept of corporate personhood, corporations have no non-statutory rights whatsoever
    Sorry, I can't be more plain, you are completely incorrect. You and ronya. The corporation isn't even who is being protected here.

    Read the first five words: "Congress shall make no law..." This should not be so hard for you to understand. It's about what government can't do. If they wanted to, they could have said "Individual people have free speech and the government will protect that." But that isn't what it says and that isn't the primary idea. It doesn't make a difference what you think a corporation is, person or not. It does not require it to be a person. People made this movie, and the government tried to shut it down because of who those people were associated with, purely on political mistrust of that association. Free speech fail.

    Is the press a person? To what individual do we grant personhood when we assert freedom of the press? If your argument is to be believed, then the First Amendment must declare the press to be a person, no? Else who could possibly have the right to freedom of the press. Or, maybe, just maybe (if you have some amount of analytical sense about the issue), freedom of the press is more for the benefit of the public, not the press, right? Maybe it's more about not allowing the government to silence a source of information and ideas than it is about what individuals get to do or not do. Is religion a person? Hell, is speech a person? The Constitution says "speech," not "speaker," and makes no clarification about who the speaker behind the speech might be associated with or funded by.

    In fact, almost nothing in the First Amendment references an individual or the rights of individuals. It references an "establishment," "exercise," "speech," and the "press," none of which are individuals. When it does get around to mentioning the people and their rights, it is in the latter clause, separate from any of the above issues, and even then it only talks about in total as the public, "the people" and when they "assemble."

    So stop acting like the issue here is whether or not something is a person. The line in the Constitution we're talking about here doesn't even say anything about a person. It says "speech."

    Hit ctrl-F on the word "group" or "association" and you'll probably get a much more accurate idea of what the Court thinks about corporate personhood.

  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar have you ever actually had a class in constitutional law? Or even the legal system in general?

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hachface wrote: »
    Yar have you ever actually had a class in constitutional law? Or even the legal system in general?
    You make a compelling point. Thanks for your contribution. Care to elaborate?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Read the first five words: "Congress shall make no law..." This should not be so hard for you to understand. It's about what government can't do. If they wanted to, they could have said "Individual people have free speech and the government will protect that."
    That requires that they thought of groups other than people as speaking. Your wording would have completely changed the intent because it would mean that their right to speech was protected from the states too, which it wasn't.
    Is the press a person? If your argument is to be believed, then the First Amendment must declare the press to be a person, no? Else who could possibly have the right to freedom of the press.
    The people who actually write the shit and publish it are people. A computer does not have a right to publish spam.

    You are reading way too much into the grammar.
    Madison based much of the Bill of Rights on George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776),[17] which itself had been written with Madison's input. He carefully considered the state amendment recommendations as well. He looked for recommendations shared by many states to avoid controversy and reduce opposition to the ratification of the future amendments.[18] Additionally, Madison's work on the Bill of Rights reflected centuries of English law and philosophy, further modified by the principles of the American Revolution.
    Madison's original draft of the Bill of Rights contained two proposed amendments dealing with freedom of speech. One proposed amendment said "The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable." The other proposed amendment of Madison read: "No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience, or of the press." Congress, however, did not support Madison's efforts to apply free speech protections against the states, even though Madison called that amendment the "most valuable amendment on the whole list." (It would not be until the 1920s, when the Supreme Court held the First Amendment protections to be incorporated through the Fourteenth Amendment, that freedom of speech guarantees would apply against the states.)
    Not reading "the people" is a result of states' rights.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Hit ctrl-F on the word "group" or "association" and you'll probably get a much more accurate idea of what the Court thinks about corporate personhood.
    That doesn't make any fucking sense. A group or association isn't a government created group that allows limited liability. With most groups, it is assumed that they share a common purpose and therefor the speech of the whole group reflect the individual members' will as association with the group is generally entirely voluntary. With corporations, any speech generally has nothing to do with the speech of the members.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    Hachface wrote: »
    Yar have you ever actually had a class in constitutional law? Or even the legal system in general?
    You make a compelling point. Thanks for your contribution. Care to elaborate?

    He was saying that your argument was so silly that its hard to respond.

    But lets do it anyway.

    1."Congress shall make no law" blah blah blah... Doesn't matter what else you say because however its worded in front, the key part of the question is "what is 'freedom of speech'" is freedom of speech an individual right? Is it a group right? Is it right of the listener? Is it a right of the inanimate idea of speech?

    The answer to this is actually quite simple, "Freedom of Speech" is an individual right, it is not a group right[you do not need to be a part of a group to exercise it, and the nature of corroboration is covered under the other individual right of "right to association"] it is not a right of the listener and it is not the right of inanimate objects.

    2. Is the Press a person? A: not always(such its safe to assume that this is not referring explicitly to an individual right, but rather a right that can be individual or can be organizational). But is "Freedom of the Press" the same as "Freedom of Speech"? And the answer is clearly no. Indeed, if "Freedom of Speech" encompassed all forms of group speech then "Freedom of the Press" would not even be necessary in the Constitution. The fact that it is means that it must be demonstrably different from "Freedom of Speech". This seems like it may not be true given the nature of the Bill of Rights being to make things explicit, except that if "Freedom of Speech" would have been explicit in the regard of covering press rights unless it was known that "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of the Press" are not the same thing.

    Indeed you are right in that "Freedom of the Press" is not there to benefit the press, but the people. But you are wrong in that this makes "Freedom of the Press" a right granted to people to hear the press. No, it is still a right of the press to publish and not of the listener to hear.

    In fact, the mere mention of "Freedom of the Press" in addition to "Freedom of Speech" implies that these are two separate and unique ideas and that having speech rights does not imply having the other. Since they both deal with information dissemination then we can only assume that there are limits on that dissemination that are not "freedom of speech" but are "freedom of the press" and that that dissemination is only a right of the press and not others. After all, if it was not, again, the phrase "freedom of the press" would be entirely redundant, having already been covered by the freedom of speech protections.

    3. Nothing has to mention the individual because the entire concept of "freedom of speech" is a known individual right. Writing "oh hey guys this is totally talking about individual rights" is entirely redundant. The founders were as conscious as writing a document that was "simple" as they were of writing one that was flexible, as they were of writing one that their intent could be known through. I suppose they assumed too much when they figured that constitutional scholars would actually read the history and context to the constitution instead of making retarded assumptions about what it meant 200 years down the line of language and law evolution.

    4. No, because good god damn as much as we have explained it is still a fundamental assumption of the decision that must be true in order for the decision to be true. If someone has a problem with that being true then that is as much a piece of contention as any other part of the decision. Logic requires assumptions, false assumptions mean that the logic, while valid, may not be cogent all the same. I.E. without a true premise, good logic can still produce incorrect results.

    This is why you're getting answers to your responses that look at you like you're a silly goose, its because you're making silly assumptions putting forth silly arguments and in general not dispelling the notion that you're being a silly goose.

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    That requires that they thought of groups other than people as speaking. Your wording would have completely changed the intent because it would mean that their right to speech was protected from the states too, which it wasn't.
    I don't understand. My preferred wording is exactly the wording of the law. The supposed wording is what I'm clearly saying isn't the intent.
    Couscous wrote: »
    You are reading way too much into the grammar.
    As opposed to what? A bunch of history about the wording they specifically chose not to use? Yes, states' rights were a huge driving force behind the entire Bill of Rights. I don't see how that directly applies here. The First Amendment is clearly not about only the rights of individuals.
    Couscous wrote: »
    That doesn't make any fucking sense. A group or association isn't a government created group that allows limited liability. With most groups, it is assumed that they share a common purpose and therefor the speech of the whole group reflect the individual members' will as association with the group is generally entirely voluntary. With corporations, any speech generally has nothing to do with the speech of the members.
    The idea of the "common purpose" is false, and the decision addressed this. Does the media only report that which reflects the ideas of their individual members? Should religion be required to preach only that which their congregation supports via vote? It is not required that the exercise of 1st Amendment rights of a group be in keeping with some majority opinion of that group.
    Couscous wrote: »
    The people who actually write the shit and publish it are people. A computer does not have a right to publish spam.
    Yeah... and the people who made the movie in this case were people. I fail to see the distinction, or what spam has to do with anything. Laws against spam are not because "a computer did it and not a person," they are because spam is a huge annoyance and causes significant damage to legitimate Internet purposes, so the government has a compelling interest to intervene in unsolicited advertisement in a way that cannot be construed as them seeking to silence political speech they don't like.
    Goumindong wrote: »
    The answer to this is actually quite simple, "Freedom of Speech" is an individual right, it is not a group right[you do not need to be a part of a group to exercise it, and the nature of corroboration is covered under the other individual right of "right to association"] it is not a right of the listener and it is not the right of inanimate objects.
    Are you seriously trying to act as if I said one must be part of a group in order to speak? What kind of tactics are you trying to pull here?

    Regardless, it's cute that you want to attack me and dismiss my opinions as crazy. But I'm giving you the Court's opinions. That's all there is to it.
    The First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech.
    When the FEC issues advisory opinions that prohibit speech, “[m]any persons, rather than undertake the considerable burden(and sometimes risk) of vindicating their rights through case-by-case litigation, will choose simply to abstain from protected speech—harming not only themselves but society as a whole, which is deprived of an uninhibited mar-ketplace of ideas.
    And “the electorate [has been] deprived of information, knowledge and opinion vital to its function.” By suppressing the speech of manifold corporations, both for-profit and non-profit, the Government prevents their voices and viewpoints from reaching the public and advising voters on which persons or entities are hostile to their interests. Factions will necessarily form in our Republic, but the remedy of “destroying the liberty” of some factions is “worse than the disease.” The Federalist No. 10, p. 130 (B.Wright ed. 1961) (J. Madison). Factions should be checked by permitting them all to speak, see ibid., and by entrusting the people to judge what is true and what is false.
    The Government may not by these means deprive the public of the right and privilege to determine for itself what speech and speakers are worthy of consideration. The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.
    Political speech is “indispensable to decision making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual... the worth of speech “does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.”
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Indeed you are right in that "Freedom of the Press" is not there to benefit the press, but the people. But you are wrong in that this makes "Freedom of the Press" a right granted to people to hear the press. No, it is still a right of the press to publish and not of the listener to hear.
    This statement is self-contradictory, or rather over-emphsizes the importance of technicalities of legal processes vs. actual rights. A right is what's right. That's why it's called a right. If freedom of the press is to benefit the people and not the press, then it necessarily follows that is a right of the people. Only in legal process would it then generally become an issue between the government and the press. The press may be the one bringing the suit, they may be the one who has standing before the Court, they or their associates may be the ones challenging what the government is doing to them, but the rationale in granting them their freedom is always a rationale based on what the people have a right to. When it comes to speech, this is also true, though it is also true with speech more so than the press that there is also an individual right to self-expression.

    Oh, and hey, the press is usually a corporation. Go figure that out.
    Goumindong wrote: »
    In fact, the mere mention of "Freedom of the Press" in addition to "Freedom of Speech" implies that these are two separate and unique ideas and that having speech rights does not imply having the other.
    No, it only implies that they wanted to be specific about some of the various kinds of public discourse that governments love to try to control. It does not imply that speech and press are mutually exclusive concepts. Just the opposite, in fact, by including them right there next to each other in the same Amendment and same sentence. One might just as easily, or perhaps even more easily, assume that press was just a further specification of speech to avoid any possible future argument that press isn't speech. While it is clever of you to come up with your own notion that speech and press are mutually exclusive by virtue of being each mentioned, there is no basis in reason or in actuality for this. And you accuse me of coming up with my own crazy reasoning? I'm giving you Court opinion; you are coming up with your own brand of silliness as if it were relevant.
    Goumindong wrote: »
    4. No, because good god damn as much as we have explained it is still a fundamental assumption of the decision that must be true in order for the decision to be true. If someone has a problem with that being true then that is as much a piece of contention as any other part of the decision. Logic requires assumptions, false assumptions mean that the logic, while valid, may not be cogent all the same. I.E. without a true premise, good logic can still produce incorrect results.
    Sorry, there is no other way to say it than I already have - you are wrong. Until you can cite me a single instance anywhere that proves that "one must be an individual person, and have no relationship whatsoever to any association or group or legal construct, in order to have free speech protection" then you will always be utterly incorrect that a corporation must be considered a person before a Court can rule that speech can be protected even when the speaker is funded by or represents a corporation. I've cited you plenty to back up my side - please, show me where it says that all associations and funding must be individual persons in order for one to have free-speech protection. That doesn't exist, thank goodness.

    In light of, in particular, the bolded items above, I'd like to ask that you refrain from saying things like my "arguments are so silly that it's hard to respond" or asking if I've "ever taken a class in law?" or other such statements that only embarrass you and waste precious space in the Internet tubes.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I don't understand. My preferred wording is exactly the wording of the law. The supposed wording is what I'm clearly saying isn't the intent.
    I'm saying the assumption that simply because they stated it in one way doesn't mean they actually had any specific intent to mean it differently from a slightly different wording. Pretty much every one of the amendments can be easily twisted into something else entirely by reading way too much into the grammar or word choice used. The second amendment is the perfect example.
    As opposed to what? A bunch of history about the wording they specifically chose not to use? Yes, states' rights were a huge driving force behind the entire Bill of Rights. I don't see how that directly applies here. The First Amendment is clearly not about only the rights of individuals.
    It is important because it shows the evolution of the bill and what they considered. Unless there is any actual evidence that their wording mattered in that way, I think it is foolish to do so. The history shows that the wording was chosen in order to prevent it from applying to the States. They didn't give two shits about whether it applied to corporations and similar state created groups or not. They didn't think about whether it was a general right or whatnot. To create meaning out of wording with regard to the purposes behind the creation of that wording is absurd and pretends the drafters are much more careful and possessing of a much foresight to deal with the nature of the freedom than they were.
    they are because spam is a huge annoyance and causes significant damage to legitimate Internet purposes, so the government has a compelling interest to intervene in unsolicited advertisement in a way that cannot be construed as them seeking to silence political speech they don't like.
    That applies just as much to corporate advertising. There is plenty of computer political spam.

  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    Are you seriously trying to act as if I said one must be part of a group in order to speak? What kind of tactics are you trying to pull here?

    Regardless, it's cute that you want to attack me and dismiss my opinions as crazy. But I'm giving you the Court's opinions. That's all there is to it.

    No, i am saying that the rights of a group to speak flow from the individual. That the group itself has no right to speak on behalf of its members. It is treated as a collection of citizens and not as a separate entity in and of itself that has unique rights as an individual. Or at least should be.
    The First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech.

    See above.
    When the FEC issues advisory opinions that prohibit speech, “[m]any persons, rather than undertake the considerable burden(and sometimes risk) of vindicating their rights through case-by-case litigation, will choose simply to abstain from protected speech—harming not only themselves but society as a whole, which is deprived of an uninhibited mar-ketplace of ideas.

    1. There is no marketplace of ideas and read the god damned dissent where this point is thoroughly destroyed
    And “the electorate [has been] deprived of information, knowledge and opinion vital to its function.” By suppressing the speech of manifold corporations, both for-profit and non-profit, the Government prevents their voices and viewpoints from reaching the public and advising voters on which persons or entities are hostile to their interests. Factions will necessarily form in our Republic, but the remedy of “destroying the liberty” of some factions is “worse than the disease.” The Federalist No. 10, p. 130 (B.Wright ed. 1961) (J. Madison). Factions should be checked by permitting them all to speak, see ibid., and by entrusting the people to judge what is true and what is false.

    Indeed, and this decision does the opposite of what it should. It limits some factions ability to speak and increases others.

    The govt in fact does not deny the ability of the people who own corporations to get their speech out. They can form organizations for those express purposes if they so wish. They can use those organizations to get their speech out.

    What this ruling does is allow other people to use my money to speak in my name without my authorization.
    The Government may not by these means deprive the public of the right and privilege to determine for itself what speech and speakers are worthy of consideration. The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.

    Except that this is false. It does it all the god damned time. for examples, read the god damned thread again.
    Political speech is “indispensable to decision making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation rather than an individual... the worth of speech “does not depend upon the identity of its source, whether corporation, association, union, or individual.”

    Again false, read the thread. We restrict based on source all the damn time.
    This statement is self-contradictory, or rather over-emphsizes the importance of technicalities of legal processes vs. actual rights. A right is what's right. That's why it's called a right. If freedom of the press is to benefit the people and not the press, then it necessarily follows that is a right of the people. Only in legal process would it then generally become an issue between the government and the press. The press may be the one bringing the suit, they may be the one who has standing before the Court, they or their associates may be the ones challenging what the government is doing to them, but the rationale in granting them their freedom is always a rationale based on what the people have a right to. When it comes to speech, this is also true, though it is also true with speech more so than the press that there is also an individual right to self-expression.

    There are many rights that protect the people while still being individual rights.

    But remember, consideration of the effects goes both ways. You cannot both claim that this is about the rights of the people to hear and then not have restrictions if it lessens the ability of the people to hear others views.
    Oh, and hey, the press is usually a corporation. Go figure that out.

    Irrelevant. The press has a separate freedom of press that is not enumerated as freedom of speech
    No, it only implies that they wanted to be specific about some of the various kinds of public discourse that governments love to try to control. It does not imply that speech and press are mutually exclusive concepts. Just the opposite, in fact, by including them right there next to each other in the same Amendment and same sentence. One might just as easily, or perhaps even more easily, assume that press was just a further specification of speech to avoid any possible future argument that press isn't speech. While it is clever of you to come up with your own notion that speech and press are mutually exclusive by virtue of being each mentioned, there is no basis in reason or in actuality for this. And you accuse me of coming up with my own crazy reasoning? I'm giving you Court opinion; you are coming up with your own brand of silliness as if it were relevant.

    No. Its like you didn't even read what was going on. If they wanted to be specific about some kind of public discourse then the other specific example could not have covered it. Otherwise there was no need to be specific.
    Sorry, there is no other way to say it than I already have - you are wrong. Until you can cite me a single instance anywhere that proves that "one must be an individual person, and have no relationship whatsoever to any association or group or legal construct, in order to have free speech protection" then you will always be utterly incorrect that a corporation must be considered a person before a Court can rule that speech can be protected even when the speaker is funded by or represents a corporation. I've cited you plenty to back up my side - please, show me where it says that all associations and funding must be individual persons in order for one to have free-speech protection. That doesn't exist, thank goodness.

    In light of, in particular, the bolded items above, I'd like to ask that you refrain from saying things like my "arguments are so silly that it's hard to respond" or asking if I've "ever taken a class in law?" or other such statements that only embarrass you and waste precious space in the Internet tubes.

    Where the fuck did anyone say "one must be an individual person, and have no relationship whatsoever to any association or group or legal construct, in order to have free speech protection"? Fucking shit where?

    Actually its quite the opposite, what has been said is that "one has free speech protections regardless of their association, they simply do not get extra protections and the ability to appropriate funds of others for political speech because of their associations"

    you have cited the fucking decision in question you silly goose. You cannot make an argument that the decision is right by citing it, its god damned circular logic. Are you actually sitting here thinking that citing the decision that everyone is actually arguing about makes your position correct? Do you not understand anything about how arguments work?

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