By: Kourosh Behnam
March 19, 2012
One hundred ninety three years ago in 1819 the Supreme Court Case Darmouth College v. Woodward ruled to allow corporations to have the same rights as, “The People”. Sixty seven years later in 1886 The Supreme Court’s decision in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad recognized corporations as people under the Fourteenth Amendment. This decision that was made one hundred twenty six years ago is the foundation for modern laws concerning corporate personhood.
The most recent law regarding corporate personhood is Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commissions. This land mark decision is directly responsible for the rise of Super PAC’s that are flooding our elections with money financed by oligarchs, multi-national corporations, and labor unions.
Recently many activists have been attempting to amend The Citizens United Decision, declaring that corporations are not people. While I think this activism is crucial to accomplishing our goals, we need to direct our energies to the beginning of when corporations were given their Fourteenth Amendment rights. “Our communities expend time, money, energy, and resources in an endless game in which he right of corporations and those who command them harm our communities and deny our rights isn’t even on the table.” I do agree with overturning The Citizens United Decision, but when we do accomplish this goal, corporations will still have persons rights. We the people need to amend the constitution in certain ways that benefit the rights of nature and people over corporations.