Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Supreme Court and Corporate Power

The patently ludicrous legal concept that corporations are afforded the same rights as a living person in regards to the fourteenth amendment to the constitution is a result of the Supreme Court decision of 1886 – Santa Clara County vs. the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. This radical decision, helped transform the character of American life by effectively enhancing the power of corporations.

The recent decision by the Supreme Court has further exacerbated this essential inequality between individuals and powerful corporate structures by affording "free speech" rights to corporations. Furthermore, this right to free speech has been equated to monetary donations to political causes. This decision has effectively swept away any constraints upon the ability of the powerful to exert enormous influence in the determination of public policy through the use of the vast financial resources available to them. On account of the enormous discrepancy between the economic resources available to living and breathing individuals and corporations, it represents a further consolidation of power into the hands of the very few, and is yet another nail in the coffin of our nearly moribund democracy. I believe that the five ultra-conservative members of the Supreme Court, concerned about the rising tide of populism, knew exactly what they were doing.

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