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Court treats corporations like people

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opinion Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

As you've probably heard, corporations are now "people."

While these inanimate paper constructs have no brain, heart or soul, five ideological screwballs on our Supreme Court have created a new Frankenstein monster. Five Supremes decreed that corporations henceforth have a First Amendment right to "speak" in any and all of our elections, by spending unlimited sums of corporate cash to elect or defeat candidates.

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This will, of course, have a disastrous impact on the democratic sovereignty of us actual people. But the court's idea of turning corporate entities into people has also prompted a gusher of fun, irreverent ideas and questions from you human-type people.

For example, will same-sex corporations be allowed to merge? And, if corporations are people, shouldn't they have to face the possibility of getting drafted into the Army, just as human people are compelled to do?

Also, here's a constitutional conundrum that the five Supreme corporatists undoubtedly failed to contemplate: Since the 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, which is ownership of a person, don't we now have to shut down the stock market, which is where corporations are bought and sold? It's a new civil rights battleground, where we can join hands and chant: "Free the Corporate Slaves Now!"

Then there's the issue of "next steps." If corporations have the First Amendment political right to support candidates, how can they be denied the right to become candidates? Indeed, one corporation, Mur-ray Hill Inc., has already filed for a Mary-land congressional seat. A Murray Hill executive says that his corporation simply decided to "eliminate the middleman," and he's urging other corporate brothers and sisters to take the political plunge. "We're saying to Wal-Mart, AIG and Pfizer, if not you, who? If not now, when?"

All things are possible in the Supreme Court's corporate wonderland.

Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and winner of the 2009 winner of the Nation/Puffin Prize. He's also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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