A year ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down one of its most controversial decisions in recent years. In Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission the Court ruled that corporations are like people – that they have the right to free speech, and the right to spend freely to influence elections. An ABC News-Washington Post poll taken shortly after the decision found that 80 percent of Americans oppose the decision….
DUMMERSTON, Vt. — “The business corporation is an artificial state-created entity with unlimited life; highly favorable techniques for acquiring, accumulating, and retaining vast wealth through economic transactions having nothing to do with politics; and only one purpose – making money. Human beings, on the other hand, die, do not enjoy economic advantages like limited liability and, most important, have a conscience that sometimes transcends crude economic self-interest.”
These are the words of Burt Neuborn, a professor at New York University Law School who also founded the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU….
But Vermont is doing something about it. On Jan. 21, state Sen. Virginia Lyons introduced a resolution – co-sponsored by 10 other members of the 30-member Vermont Senate – that seeks to revoke the granting of personhood rights to U.S. corporations. The bill calls for a constitutional amendment that declares that “corporations are not persons under the laws of the United States.”