28th Amendment

"Corporations are not people. They have none of the Constitutional rights of human beings. Corporations are not allowed to give money to any politician, directly or indirectly. No politician can raise over $100 from any person or entity.  All elections must be publicly financed."

*Note: The finished legislation will be worded differently and have to account for inflation, etc.  This is simply to point the legislators in the right direction and make sure the final amendment accomplishes the goals we have outlined here.   

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commented 2013-01-29 20:56:16 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, I need more time to digest your last post. I’m having difficulty understanding your view of the issue. What are you saying? Please describe your view of the issue further and perhaps I can understand your position better.
commented 2013-01-29 00:19:02 -0500 · Flag
Paul, you are making the mistake of believing that 2 wrongs make a right. You are trying to retaliate to the unjustifiable privileges offered to people in charge of a corporation (which I personally believe ARE unjustifiable) by allowing any and all rights, INCLUDING DUE PROCESS, by your own admission, to be taken away from their members when they are acting in their capacity as a member. There is NO justification for taking any justifiable right away from anyone, ever. The ONLY justifiable response to unjustifiable privileges is to remove those unjustifiable privileges. That is all. You are trying to treat a brain tumour by performing amputations on the patient’s limbs.

You’re completely wrong about your assessment that corporations were designed such that its members could be denied any & all rights including due process when acting in their capacity as a member. Nobody would ever have joined a corporation if that were the case. In fact any such application of your intended clause would cause all corporations to de-incorporate and form less recognizable associations such that they can be seen as individuals and thus entirely circumvent your intended clause.

So what you want is actually limitations/requirements upon INDIVIDUALS. How are you unable to see this?
commented 2013-01-28 16:26:14 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, in answer to your first question: as long as corporations are permitted to influence the electoral process, they will retain the ability to dominate the political debate by doing what they are doing today. In my opinion, the 2012 presidential election process was severely distorted by the barrage of political advertising we were all subjected to. As far as I can see, even if the Equal Voice proposal stops individuals from controlling the media, by itself it does not stop the use of money to buy political influence.

Regarding your second question: once again, when individuals who are responsible for the acts of corporations act on behalf of the corporation, they are not acting on behalf of themselves. They are acting in their role as a representative of the corporation. Their right to due process as individuals is unaffected by their actions on behalf of the corporation. This is the way it is today, and this is the way it should remain.

The way you ask it, the answer to your second question is both no, when an individual acts as an agent of a corporation, but yes when an individual acts on his or her own personal behalf. Because when an individual who is in a position of responsibility for a corporation acts in that position on behalf of the corporation he/she represents, he/she does so in his or her role in the corporation, not acting as an individual. So it is the corporation acting, not the person individually.

I reiterate my earlier comment: you can’t have it both ways. Either those responsible for the actions of corporations are held personally responsible as individuals for the actions of the corporation, in which case the individuals and the corporation are both entitled to all protections afforded by the constitution to individuals, OR, the officers and owners of corporations are not personally responsible for the actions of the corporation, but the corporation is then a separate legal entity, and as such is not entitled to all of the protection the constitution accords to natural persons.

Again, you can’t have it both ways. You choose. But I’d suggest the latter is not only infinitely more feasible than the former, but is largely what is in place today, with the glaring exception that corporations have been ceded, not by the constitution, but by lawyers winning court arguments, virtually all the constitutional protections of the people who run them. The result is that corporations and the individual who run them are receiving protection without the responsibilities that should accompany that protection.

You are posing the argument that I imagine lawyers have done since 1886. That’s exactly the purpose of the movement to pass a 28th amendment curbing corporate influence: to finally inject a constitutional position on this issue. Again, you can’t have it both ways. either corporations can influence the political process and anything else they choose to influence AN their owners and officers are held personally liable for all of the actions of the corporation, or the individuals who own and operate corporations are not personally responsible for the actions of the corporation, and the corporation is reduce to its original intent: a purely legal entity that, unlike natural persons, in NOT entitled to all of the protections of the constitution that natural persons are entitled to.

As I write this, I find it difficult to imagine that after all you have said on this blog, that you do not understand what I’m saying. I find it even harder to imagine that you do not agree with it.

On this particular issue, what do you believe, Naveen?
commented 2013-01-28 13:01:55 -0500 · Flag
Paul, please explain how the equal-chance-voice clause is easily circumvented by corporations? It is water-tight.

As for denial of rights, let’s talk about a specific example:

Do you, or do you not, believe individuals acting in their capacity as members of a corporation should have the right to due process?

Yes or no?
commented 2013-01-28 12:34:53 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, I am saying that not all of the rights that an individual is granted by the constitution also apply equally to the organizations or associations (or corporations, or LLCs) they run. Nor should they be.

For example, when an officer of a corporation signs a document in his/her capacity as an officer of that corporation, that person does so acting AS AN OFFICER OF THE CORPORATION, not as an individual. The individual is not acting on his/her own behalf, and his/her constitutional rights as an individual are not threatened. That’s how it is now, and that’s how it should remain.

I’m not suggesting that the authority be given to “take away ANY and ALL rights from an INDIVIDUAL because he/she just happened to be acting in his/her capacity as a member of an association which was given certain unjustifiable privileges” to quote you. You are misinterpreting me when you say this. No one is proposing to take rights away from an individual.

The answer is not as you say, to ban corporations. The answer is to DEFINE THE LIMITATIONS OF THE RIGHTS AFFORDED TO CORPORATIONS under the Constitution. The description of all organizations to which these constitutional limitation would apply needs clearer definition, which is what I attempted to do in my suggested text in this blog earlier.

I believe this definition to be the primary intent of MTA and Wolf-Pac and the movement for a 28th amendment.

As you say, your Equal Voice proposal attempts to remove the ability of individuals to gain unfair political advantage by gaining control over the channels of communication. That is indeed a big problem, but it’s only part of the problem. The whole problem is wider than that. I agree with Rich when he says, “Equal political speech in campaigns cannot exist without that ban.” The Equal Voice Amendment you propose could be easily circumvented without a ban on corporate involvement in politics.
commented 2013-01-28 11:36:42 -0500 · Flag
Paul, thanks for understanding the essential difference between natural persons and and ;artificial legal entities. 1886 Pacific Railway case erased the distinction by granting personhood to corporations. Giving corporations all the protections under the Constitution is the reason a constitutional amendment is needed to overturn the precedents of over 120 years of case law granting rights and privileges to Corpoarations. Thanks. MTA has a pdf timeline available for free on the MTA web pages. There are hundreds of cases in the timeline related to the doctrine of personhood. Can’t find it. I will try to send you the link to download the timeline. There is reason to ban the special privilege to ban all artificial legal entities form influencing all elections with money. Equal political speech in campaigns cannot exist without that ban.
commented 2013-01-28 09:41:57 -0500 · Flag
Paul, then argue to ban corporations. There’s no justification for giving the authority to take away ANY and ALL rights from an INDIVIDUAL because he/she just happened to be acting in his/her capacity as a member of an association which was given certain unjustifiable privileges. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Those privileges were deemed justifiable under the law at the time – you can’t just say “well that’s it, now you, even though you’re an individual, have absolutely no rights whatsoever now”. Ban those privileges if they can be shown to be unjustifiable – that’s ALL that needs to be done!

Taking away a JUSTIFIED right (necessary right) from any individual is, by definition, an injustice.

What “rights” are you trying to deny to individual members of associations? Right to a trial before being punished? Right not to be subjected to torture? There is no limit at all under your intended clause. If indeed the “rights” you want to deny are some kind of abusive and/or negligent behaviours which should be banned, then there’s no justification for allowing individuals to commit the same abuses and/or oversights either, since they have exactly the same effect! Do you see what I’m getting at now? I hope so.
commented 2013-01-28 08:28:46 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, you seem to be basing your comment on historical precedent established in various court cases as referred to by Rich and others, but never affirmed by the constitution, that because corporations are associations of natural persons, they automatically have the same rights as the natural persons that run them.

I do not believe this to be true, and I don’t think any of the millions who support the movement to finally put a constitutional amendment in place that will clearly state the intention of the people that corporations (and by extension any other legal or non-legal association of individuals) are legal entities and not human beings, would believe that the constitution should accord to associations of people the same constitutional rights that it grants to human beings themselves to be true either.

Look, you can’t have it both ways: businesses use their corporate identity to shield those who run them from personal liability for the actions of the corporation. This is done every day. Has been forever. In fact I believe protection from personal liability is one (among several) of the main reasons the LEGAL ENTITY known as the “corporation” was devised in the first place, to protect the owners and managers of a business from personal liability for the actions of the corporation.

So, your argument that because humans run corporations (and by extension all other associations they may form for a given purpose), the corporations should have the same rights as the humans who run them, unless you are also willing to require those same individuals to bear direct PERSONAL responsibility for all of the actions of the organizations they run. No “corporate veil”, no protection from personal liability by those who control an association (of any kind) from the actions of the association.

You just can’t have it both ways.
commented 2013-01-28 00:31:09 -0500 · Flag
justified* right
commented 2013-01-28 00:30:15 -0500 · Flag
Paul, a member of an association is a human being, thus allowing your intended clause to be deemed redundant. If instead it is ever not deemed redundant, then ANY and ALL rights can be taken away from that INDIVIDUAL under your clause. If that’s what you want, then your proposal should explicitly say so instead of leaving it up to others to interpret it that way or not. I don’t consider that justifiable.

There is no abuse and/or oversight which carries a different negative impact in practice if carried out to exactly the same effect by an individual, a number of individuals each acting by his/her own accord, members of a non-legally-recognized association, or members of a legally-established one.

So instead you should exactly specify the abuse/abuses and/or oversight/oversights you wish to address.

The equal-chance-voice clause is intended to remove the ability to legally purchase artificial campaign propaganda advantage. So to do so could never subsequently be considered by anyone to be a “right”. To ever take away any real and justifiable right is unjustifiable, always has been and always will be.
commented 2013-01-27 21:29:03 -0500 · Flag
Naveen, a person cannot exercise as a member of an association, a right given only to human beings under the law, because rights given only to human beings do not extend to associations of human beings, but only to individual human beings themselves.
commented 2013-01-27 12:00:30 -0500 · Flag
Oops, pressed twice.
commented 2013-01-27 11:59:41 -0500 · Flag
Paul let’s say a person exercises, in his/her capacity as a member of a legally established association, a right given to individuals under the law. Is your clause an attempt to deny that right? How can your clause then not be deemed redundant in light of the fact that members of said association are still individuals? If not deemed redundant, then can’t any and all rights and protections then be removed from that individual, under your clause?

Your intended clause can only ever switch, like this, between redundant, selective justice, and unjust.

Instead you should specify the abuses and/or oversights you wish to address. There is no justification for allowing any individuals who aren’t acting in capacity of a legally established association to commit the same abuses and/or oversights that members of legally established associations should be stopped from committing. Do you see what I’m getting at now?
commented 2013-01-27 11:59:38 -0500 · Flag
Paul let’s say a person exercises, in his/her capacity as a member of a legally established association, a right given to individuals under the law. Is your clause an attempt to deny that right? How can your clause then not be deemed redundant in light of the fact that members of said association are still individuals? If not deemed redundant, then can’t any and all rights and protections then be removed from that individual, under your clause?

Your intended clause can only ever switch, like this, between redundant, selective justice, and unjust.

Instead you should specify the abuses and/or oversights you wish to address. There is no justification for allowing any individuals who aren’t acting in capacity of a legally established association to commit the same abuses and/or oversights that members of legally established associations should be stopped from committing. Do you see what I’m getting at now?
commented 2013-01-26 16:50:18 -0500 · Flag
Sorry for not responding sooner.

As I said earlier, "The intent is to differentiate between people and legal entities without listing examples of legal entities so as to avoid being limited to only those types of entities listed. "
commented 2013-01-25 02:00:59 -0500 · Flag
Rich, I wasn’t talking about charters or even the right to be a corporation at all, I was talking about the authority to deny or remove any and all rights & protections to a natural individual based on the arbitrary judgement that he/she is acting as a member of a “corporation” instead of by his/her own individual accord. But in the best case everyone is seen as acting by his/her individual accord, making the clause redundant anyway. So there’s no point including a clause which can only ever switch between redundant and unjustifiable.

So you should address, in a clear way, the potential abuses and/or oversights, by anyone, that you wish to address, in your 28th amendment proposal itself. Of course you could specify legally recognized associations in that clause, but why would you want to allow people who aren’t acting in the capacity of any legally recognized association to commit the exact same abuses and/or oversights? Do you see what I’m getting at now?
commented 2013-01-24 11:19:34 -0500 · Flag
Corps can still get charters authorized by State legislatures for limited purposes just like it was before the 1886 Pacific Railway decision. You don’t have a clue of what is true. You ignore the entire legal history of the western world and make your own imaginary assumptions. Just because you or I write something does not make it true.

The declaration made natural persons sovereign. The 1% steal that sovereignty legally by perverting the Constitution.
commented 2013-01-24 10:02:22 -0500 · Flag
Rich, this is purely about the authority to deny any and all rights to a natural individual based on whether that individual is deemed to be acting by his/her own individual accord OR acting in his/her capacity as a member of a legally recognized association (e.g. corporation). Both are true in all such cases, so the decision for the authorities to claim one over the other can only be arbitrary. Why would you want to allow the authority to take away ALL rights from a member of a corporation? You do realize that includes even the most basic human rights & protections, don’t you? On the other hand, if that individual is deemed to be acting by his/her own individual accord, which is also true in all cases, then he/she will be given ALL constitutional protections anyway, making such a constitutional clause utterly redundant anyway. So why bother including a clause which can only ever arbitrarily switch between redundant and unjustifiable at any given moment?

Law should address any potential abuses and/or oversights themselves, not state that someone might be arbitrarily denied any and all rights & protections under the entire law, or in the best case just be ignored as a redundant truism.

The solution is to address the potential abuses and/or oversights you wish to address, in your 28th amendment proposal itself. For example, strengthening anti-bribery law (18 USC Section 201) such that anyone reporting a suspected case will be followed by a full & verifiably thorough investigation, and/or prohibition of behaviours which are strong signs of bribery but which aren’t deemed sufficient evidence to prosecute at the moment. etc.
commented 2013-01-24 03:55:42 -0500 · Flag
The last 120 years after the 1886 Pacific Railway case has been dominated and controlled by Corporations, non-natural beings, exercising their rights in our courts. That is the sole job of corporate attorneys. Well, a main job of corporate attorneys is to destroy evidence that could be used in a court of law against their employers.

That is why we have the best Congress money can buy. You do not have a clue, not one clue, of how the law is used to control our lives. Ignorance is the first way to lose your Constitutional rights. How stupid can anyone be? Not much more than that comment. “Paul, no non-natural-being has ever exercised a right.” Total pure crap. Total blind ignorance.
commented 2013-01-24 02:29:16 -0500 · Flag
Paul, no non-natural-being has ever exercised a right. That’s because no non-natural-being is conscious in order to be able to do so. You can’t justifiably allow the authority to remove any and all rights and protections from an individual because they happen to be a member of a legally-recognized association, even a “corporation”. The best-case scenario for such a constitutional clause is that it is dismissed as an obvious truism and is never put into any real-life action. The worst-case scenario is for it to ever be applied in real life, where the members of one or more legally-recognized associations are arbitrarily deemed to have been acting as one instead of each by their own individual accord, and so have rights & protections arbitrarily taken away from them, and in the worst case every right & protection. Including such a clause would set up a wasteful “framers’ intent” controversy between these 2 approaches (the 1st one being correct, thereby making the clause itself redundant in any and all cases, and the 2nd one being wrong) and so I do not believe it should be included in the 28th amendment at all.

The equal-chance-voice clause is intended to remove the ability to legally purchase artificial campaign propaganda advantage. What other rights and protections are you trying to deny to individual members of legally-recognized associations via clause 1? Remember you can’t punish or deny (or even grant) any rights and/or protections to any such artificial entity, only to individuals. This has always been the case and any opposing assessment, in my view, is simply based on a misunderstanding.
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