Showing posts from June, 2011

Corporate Personhood: It's False History

[The following is a Letter To The Editor that I sent to the Daily Camera, Boulder Weekly and the Denver Post on June 21, 2011.]

Since the Boulder City Council may be deciding at their July 19 meeting on a fall ballot resolution about the issue of corporate personhood, I thought the community would be interested to learn more about the
origins of this legal fiction, and its bearing on current politics.

Corporate personhood is the claim by corporations that they have constitutional rights equal to Americans. This legal fiction was established only by court precedent since the post-Civil War era. “Corporation” is not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, nor has “corporate personhood” been voted on by any legislative body, anytime, anywhere.

So how did it start? After the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 to grant citizenship to all persons born in the United States, lawyers for the railroads (the biggest corporations then) crafted a brilliant sc…