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I am a Christian Constitutionalist. I apologize for being a little late in posting on this subject, but it is very important to me. I would love it if someone could help me understand if I am wrong about this. I believe “Corporate First Amendment rights” is an oxymoron. Everything underlying our Constitution is about the INDIVIDUAL…individual rights, individual liberties, individual freedoms. A “corporation” is an entity created by the State (paperwork is usually filed with the Secretary of State) for the legal protections of its Officers, among other reasons. Its purpose is to make a profit or achieve certain objectives (non-profits), and it therefore contracts with INDIVIDUALS who on corporate property become “employees” of the corporation (whether paid or not). Employees do not have First Amendment rights while on the job, unless you want to risk losing it. For example, I am not permitted to talk about politics, ask people if they would like to sign a petition, or even talk politics on the phone, lest someone hear me and be offended. Furthermore, I am subjected to “diversity training” every year which offends me; I wrote my CEO about this, he rejected my position and demanded that I do the training or face consequences.
For the life of me, I do not understand how it makes any kind of sense that Corporations have the same rights as Individuals. However, I do know the Supreme Court over the years through case law has changed the definition of “Person” to where it includes a Corporation. But I think that is nonsense, and besides…the Supreme Court does not make law; they only provide opinion. (Hence, for example, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion the law of the land in 1973 because Congress, who creates laws, never followed up with legislation to that effect.)
Regarding whether the Constitution gives Congress power to regulate campaign contributions, etc., we wouldn’t have to be concerned about that if only INDIVIDUALS were permitted to contribute to campaigns. It is the corporations that distort this process by using their profits or PACS and lobbyists to inundate candidates’ campaign chests with money, making INDIVIDUAL donations of practically no consequence and also NO INFLUENCE in helping candidates of their choice to win elections. Hence, it is corporate America who is choosing our elected officials (and doing their bidding) instead of the INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGN CITIZENS. That is NOT what the Founding Fathers envisioned. The People effectively elect NO ONE any more, not only because of the huge and most powerful corporate donations, but the improper POWER of the two-party system.
You stated the First Amendment doesn’t discriminate according to who is speaking, and that is correct. “Who” means an individual, not a state-created corporate entity, which is a “what”.
The First Amendment rights are to INDIVIDUALS no matter where they work. But the Founders obviously saw the importance of adding specifically the freedom of the “press” so that a government could not usurp power over what news is published or withheld. The other rights to personally choose a religion or not, peaceably assemble, and petition the Government are to INDIVIDUALS as well.
The severability issue of freedom of speech from spending money on a campaign is not the argument. INDIVIDUALS most definitely demonstrate freedom of speech through campaign contributions. Corporations, on the other hand, can communicate to their employees their preference of a candidate or issue, but individual employees may not agree and therefore financial contributions should come from INDIVIDUALS ONLY, not corporations.
1 year, 4 months ago on Free Speech: Corporate and Anonymous