Supreme Court: Are Corporations “Natural Persons” or Not? The Showdown and the Double Standard.

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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.

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8 Responses to Supreme Court: Are Corporations “Natural Persons” or Not? The Showdown and the Double Standard.

  1. sjterrid says:

    Excellent point! If according to the Supreme Court corporations are people and they can contribute to campaigns because of free speech, then yes than corporations should be held liable if that company conducted human rights violations. In fact, if the Supreme Court decides that they can’t get sued, doesn’t that mean that they would have to look at Citizens United again? There can’t be two different rules on whether corporations are people.

    • TiMT says:

      I think they will look at the craziness they have created and most probably take a second look at the Citizens United decision. They can do right by striking that ruling in the process save the oil companies from litigation. Regardless, they have caused damage in this election as they intended. Well, we will wait and see.

  2. when was the last time corperates lost blood in the service of their country
    for that matter money. they have no soul

  3. Steve says:

    Dear Timt,
    In addition to your post I was wondering, Times change. There was a time when we could look at Supreme Court Justices with great respect and admiration. They were people who had a high standard of right action, a commitment to the Constitution of the United States, with no bias favoring specific political parties or agendas. They supported ethical behavior and the ideals of democracy.
    Catch you again soon!

    • TiMT says:

      Sorry it took me a while to see your comment to approve it. For some reason it was seating in a spam folder. Anyway, I agree the SCOTUS has become very partisan. Welcome to ThisIsOurTime Blog.

      • mohanna says:

        I used to respect the SCOTUS until they selected Bush for President instead of letting US Voters decide. Then came Citizens United and now I hold them in contempt (especially Roberts and Scalia).

  4. mohanna says:

    I’ll believe corporations are people when one is executed in Texas.

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