Friday, September 18, 2009

Sotomayor Issues Challenge to a Century of Corporate Law


n her maiden Supreme Court appearance last week, Justice Sonia Sotomayor made a provocative comment that probed the foundations of corporate law.

During arguments in a campaign-finance case, the court's majority conservatives seemed persuaded that corporations have broad First Amendment rights and that recent precedents upholding limits on corporate political spending should be overruled.

But Justice Sotomayor suggested the majority might have it all wrong -- and that instead the court should reconsider the 19th century rulings that first afforded corporations the same rights flesh-and-blood people have.

Judges "created corporations as persons, gave birth to corporations as persons," she said. "There could be an argument made that that was the court's error to start with...[imbuing] a creature of state law with human characteristics."

"Progressives who think that corporations already have an unduly large influence on policy in the United States have to feel reassured that this was one of [her] first questions," said Douglas Kendall, president of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center.

Good for her. Yes, it's just one comment, but it shows common sense in the face of a long-ago right wing decision that corporations should be protected from the law and a more recent one that money equals speech. Maybe la Boricua is gonna turn out OK after all, not that her position on this is likely to prevail.

Here's Gordon's Law: If I can't grab it by the stackin' swivel, it ain't got the same rights I do.

Please read the rest of the article to see how, when, and why that ridiculous decision came about. I'll bet you can guess, though.

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