Reject corporate personhood, rights


Vermont is taking a step that should have been taken a long time ago to undo precident that never should have been set. Sen. Virginia Lyons, D-Vt., has introduced a bill to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which would assert "corporations are not persons under the laws of the United States or any of its jurisdictional subdivisions."

Corporations are not people, and they should never have been given personhood rights in the first place. Corporations are merely collections of contracts and nothing more.

As of now, corporations are provided all of the same rights under the Constitution as any given citizen of the nation. As a result, these businesses have been able to dominate American politics by donating absurd amounts of money to candidates who go on to ignore the wants, needs and desires of American citizens in favor of giving these corporations whatever they want. That is not democracy. No person should have to live under a government who cares more for legal fictions than for real, live human beings.

The U.S. Supreme Court one year ago ruled in favor of nonprofit organization Citizens United in the landmark case, "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission." This decision was disastrous, and it is great to see Vermont fighting back against this great injustice. Justice John Paul Stevens, one of the few people involved in the case who seems to have his head on straight, wrote that "corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. They are not themselves members of ‘We the People' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established." We couldn't agree more with Stevens' feelings on the matter.

Vermont is taking the step that every state should be taking. That no other state seems to be concerned about the matter of corporate personhood is a legitimately frightening thought. If this legislation is successful and its urgings make an impact on Congress, hopefully other states will follow suit, until the federal government takes notice.

Then again, even if Congress does not heed Vermont's call, other states should follow suit with their own legislation regardless. If the federal government disregards the voice of one state, it certainly would not disregard the voices of all of them. It is time for the American people to take back the democratic process. It is lunacy that they ever had to do so in the first place.


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