7/01/2014

Do people lose their religious liberties when they work together with others to form a company?

Dana Milbank is confused.  He has a piece in the Washington Post where he says that it is a fiction to say that "corporations are people."  But what is a corporation but a collection of people.  Democrats seem to think that once someone enters into a business arrangement with others they lose their First Amendment rights.

According to Milbank:
the high court not only affirmed corporate personhood but expanded the human rights of corporations, who by some measures enjoy more protections than mortals — or “natural persons,” as the court calls the type of people who do not incorporate in Delaware. . . .
It isn't obvious how the Hobby Lobby decision provides any greater rights to people who are working through their company.  Dana Milbank makes a reference to political donations rules, but all the court did in that decision was say that companies should be treated as individuals.  Individuals care about politics for various reasons, including the impact that politics has on their professional career.  Why should people be able to organize with the people in their own company to protect their personal interests?

Milbank gets somethings confused.
Alito’s ruling notably did not protect the rights of people employed by Hobby Lobby. . . .
But employees have to more right to demand that companies provide them with a certain salary than companies have the right to demand that people work for them for a certain salary.

Take Ginsburg's comment:
Ginsburg, in her dissent, wrote: “Until this litigation, no decision of this Court recognized a for-profit corporation’s qualification for a religious exemption. . . . The exercise of religion is characteristic of natural persons, not artificial legal entities. As Chief Justice Marshall observed nearly two centuries ago, a corporation is ‘an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.’ ” . . .
The point here confuses different issues.  Could you imagine a world where everyone who owned shares in a company had to sign a every contract that the company entered into?  It would be impossible to have shareholders like we do today if that were the case.  So shareholders have a company that represents their interests.  But why then does Ginsburg think that shareholders somehow lose their rights to speech or religious liberty as soon as they set up a company?  Other than a play on the word "fiction" it is hard to see what their argument actually is.

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home