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Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

I find the claims made in this letter to be absolutely bizarre.

Look - when corporations can be sent to prison _then_ you can talk about their 1st and 4th Amendment rights.

As it is now, corporations have plenty of protections relating to property, patents and trademark laws. The letter writer's claims are ludicrous.

Money should not be the same thing as speech!

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

The 4th amendment protects against search and SEIZURE.

Having it legal for the government to seize businesses without cause sounds like Soviet Communism.

Thanks for an enlightening letter. I am not surprised by such a radical amendment being proposed, but I was unaware.

airnaut
Everett, 00

@Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Look - when corporations can be sent to prison _then_ you can talk about their 1st and 4th Amendment rights.

========

Agreed!

Corporations are NOT people - no matter what Mitt Romney told you.

glendenbg
Salt Lake City, UT

The author's objections strike me as overblown, but the essential question remains whether or not corporations - which are legal constructs - have rights or not.

From the Move to Amend website:

Our perspective is that no "artificial entities" - non human beings - should have rights spelled out under the Constitution. This includes unions and non-profit corporations.

Rights do not come from government, we have them because of the very fact that we are alive - they are inalienable. Given that, government does not actually have authority to grant rights to entities created by law. Certain powers and privileges may be needed and desired for certain entities over others, but not constitutional rights.

Non-profits do serve a different function than that for-profit corporations, as do unions. But these powers and privileges need to be spelled out legislatively - through a democratic process - not granted by the legal system under the Constitution.

Ranch
Here, UT

I'm all in favor of the amendment, up to, and including the other organizations. Non-breathing entities are NOT people.

airnaut
Everett, 00

Better get this hammered out quick.
As it stands -- Citizens United [hands down the worst SCOTUS ruling in over 220 years] gives non-human entities {Corporations} rights.

Something our Founding Fathers could never could foresee in 1776 --

Artificial Intelligence.

Do we really want to let computers have the same "rights" as Humans?
Because if something isn't changed - that's where this is headed.

MaxPower
Eagle Mountain, UT

@airnaut

I really believe the Citizens United was a terrible, terrible ruling. Worst? I'd have to give that to Dred Scott

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I love the NFL.

But I'd get rid of the NFL if it meant getting rid of Citizens United.

I don't care what it takes. GET RID OF CITIZENS UNITED! Corporations aren't people!

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

The Democrat party is not people either.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Doesn't sound like a good amendment to me.

Why would we want LESS Constitutional protection in America, for ANYONE, even businesses?

I hope people realize that corporations/businesses are made up of people. Sure there's some brick and mortar, equipment, etc... but their the REAL resource that makes a "Corporation" run is the "People". So why would we want to REMOVE constitutional protections from businesses (which are after all are people).

Businesses shouldn't have MORE Constitutional rights than any person, but they should also not have LESS. Keep in mind... Corporations are people (just a GROUP of people). Your Constitutional rights at the office should not be any less than when you are anywhere else. It sounds like you would have no Constitutional protections from illegal search and seizure, etc, while at work.

Maverick,
Corporations ARE essentially groups of people (that's why they call the process incorporation).

Corporation definition - "A corporation is a separate legal entity that has been incorporated through a legislative or registration process".

Incorporation definition - "take in or contain (something) as part of a whole, absorb, include, subsume, assimilate, integrate".

What would a corporation be without people?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

“whether our representatives should work to amend the United States Constitution.”

If our present representatives acquire the chance to change the Constitution, it is likely that individual people will lose all rights and those entities will become the “people” spoke of in the Constitution.

If the people of this nation are to wrest control of our government from the entities, it will have to be done by a popular vote referendum.

one old man
Ogden, UT

This letter is not correct. For the record, here is the entire text of the amendment proposed by Move to Amend. (It has to be in two postings because it exceeds 200 words.) Here is the first half:

House Joint Resolution 29 introduced February 14, 2013

Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

one old man
Ogden, UT

And here is the second half:

Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

glendenbg

If you consider rights to be universal and equally available to all, you cannot believe that rights come from God. God gives life but it comes without any promises, guarantees, expectations or duration.

The only rights we have are those given to us by the other people in our world. Sort of like a legal contract. But the rights are not worth the paper they are written on without a government to enforce them. So in the end, rights do come from government.

There is no such thing as a non-profit entity. The primary reason for people to form a group is to obtain the mutual benefit from the group. Mostly the benefit is money, but sometimes it’s services to the group and sometimes it’s just to benefit a few individuals at the expense of the group.

It is important to realize that no matter how large or small the group is, it doesn’t represent the people of America and therefore should not be allowed to have any control over our government. Our government should only take orders from the one group called All Americans.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Thanks one old man.

And when a business destroys one's property, all those responsible to that "Business" need to go to pay fines and go to jail.

If that "Business" is responsible for negligent homicide - then all those associated with that "Business" need to go to jail for the rest of their lives.

You can't treat and punitively punish PEOPLE one way, and then suddenly wave a magic wand and magically exempt Businesses another.

Remember that -- all being equal -- under the law clause can't go away because one is a human and the other is a collection of humans.

Otherwise - mobs and gangs could simple incorporate and hire a single hitman to do their dirty-work and exempting the GodFathers who call all the shots.
Sort of like some businesses operate today.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

After watching both President Assad and President Obama -- I offer my opinion.

Pres. Assad is telling the truth.
Pres. Obama seems nervous, scripted -- saying whatever he has to, like a hostage with a gun pointed at his head.

Something is amiff.
Something is wrong.
We are not getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to this situation.

And don't any of you 2-faced hypocrite Republicans pounce on Pres. Obama.
Because your boy Mitt Romney promised [over and over again] that he'd invade Syria AND Iran, and the House speaker John Boehner and Sen. John McCain are all behind it too!

Sal
Provo, UT

The amendment will never pass. There are too many conservative state legislatures, including our own, that will stop it. The amendment would hammer religious organizations.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded Mormon,
Always calling for people to go to JAIL... what's up with this obsession with sending people to jail you and Maverick have?

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@2bits
"Why would we want LESS Constitutional protection in America, for ANYONE, even businesses?"

Because allowing businesses to operate the way they do when it comes to political involvement/contributions increases corrupting influence of lobbyists.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Ultra Bob, "If you consider rights to be universal and equally available to all, you cannot believe that rights come from God. God gives life but it comes without any promises, guarantees, expectations or duration.

The only rights we have are those given to us by the other people in our world. Sort of like a legal contract. But the rights are not worth the paper they are written on without a government to enforce them. So in the end, rights do come from government. "

Best explanation, yet of why "rights come God" is both incorrect and illogical

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