When an evenly divided and often leaning Republican majority SCOTUS decided in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission favoring Citizen United, it extended to corporations a first Amendment rights as if they are actual people allowing corporations to spend millions of dollars in this country’s elections.
Well, karma is a bitch and there is a saying, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Today, there is a big show down where the SCOTUS will be hearing an oral argument on whether corporations, like real people, can be held liable in American courts for international human rights violations.
Imagine, an Oil companies will be coming out saying we should not be held in the same standard as “natural persons” and claim they should not be liable for committing “international human rights violations such as torture, extrajudicial killings and crimes against humanity”.
A little background from HuffPost:
The case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, began far from Washington in the Ogoni region of the Niger Delta. About a dozen Nigerians contend that Shell Oil’s parent company aided and abetted the Nigerian government in its violent suppression of environmental and human rights protesters resisting Shell’s operations there in the 1990s. In September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit accepted the oil company’s argument that as a corporation it’s immune from being sued in the United States for the overseas conduct. Since then, three other appeals courts, looking at the same law, have held otherwise — in cases brought against Exxon, Firestone and Rio Tinto for similar alleged atrocities.
If at all the Supreme Court is consistence, shouldn’t corporations as is the case in the Citizen United case take the same responsibility as “natural person” for their wrongdoings?
Well, I don’t have faith in the Supreme Court so call me cynical. If they have it their way, they will give out voting rights to the number of shares corporations hold and destroy the one vote one person rule. Who know that might just be where we are heading.
Well, get ready for a new set of justices to be announced during the next Presidential term and more of a reason for why it is important the person selecting these justices is President Obama.