Posted on 9/5/11
Today, there have been numerous debates on the Bill of Rights and whether these rights apply to Corporations. Tami does not want these rights granted to Corporations based on principles the Founding Fathers argued while forming the Constitution. She believes the Employee was granted their protection from the Bill of Rights and Corporations were granted their protection from Congress and State Licensing Agencies.
Thomas Jefferson in 1789 explained the purpose behind having a Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution:
a bill of rights to guard liberty against the legislative as well as the executive branches of the government; that is to say, to secure freedom in religion, freedom of the press, freedom from monopolies, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, freedom from a permanent military, and a trial by jury, in all cases determinable by the laws of the land.
Furthermore, his thoughts on 'monopolies' were consistent with many of the Framers views and experiences which are documented in convention notes. Justice Ginsburg has also stated, “A corporation, after all, is not endowed by its creator with inalienable rights”
Since the 19th century, the Supreme Court has confirmed, Corporations were protected under Amendment Fourteen. Thereafter, Corporations became synonymous with Person for the sole reason the word remains in the text of Amendment Fourteen. It reads,
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person with its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Bills of Rights were originally enforced by the Federal Government. An it wasn’t until 1897, when the courts slowly started the ‘Incorporation of the Bill of Rights’, the process where certain portions of the Bill of Rights were applied to the States; thereafter States were also required to enforce the rights. Today, the process of Incorporation has been applied to Amendments one-eight. The clauses that have not been incorporated were the Right to an Indictment by a Grand Jury and the Right to a Jury Trial in Civil Lawsuits.
In 2010, the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decided that the “Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether.” Tami can understand how Freedom of Speech would benefit Political PAC’s or Organizations which hire employees based on a cause or interest, however to extend this right of Political Freedom of Speech to Corporations when employees have no common political interests seems unconstitutional.
Furthermore, if a Corporation selects a view based on power, majority, or shareholders, does that not imply their employees could be pressured to support or endorse those political views. Madison argued,
It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppressions of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.
Tami believes the will and protection of the voter should be paramount when considering Corporate Political Movements; furthermore, Parties and Special Interest Groups have silenced individual dissent, let’s hope Corporations do not take their vote. The Supreme Court argued in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 1905,
“The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint, nor is it an element in such liberty that one person, or a minority of persons residing in any community and enjoying the benefits of its local government, should have power to dominate the majority when supported in their action by the authority of the State.”
Copyright 2011 Tami Stainfield for President. All rights reserved. Tami Stainfield has not granted any persons or organizations rights to utilize or distribute Tami Stainfeild thoughts, quotes, ideas and intellectual property.