The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Personal rights

It deeply disturbed me in 2010 when the ruling by five Supreme Court justices bolstered the idea of corporate personhood. Fundamentally, corporations have been given the same constitutional rights that were intended solely for human beings.

Subsequent to the American Revolution, corporate power was limited through state legislatures. In 1886, however, the Supreme Court ruled in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad that corporations had the right of equal protection according to the 14th amendment. This began the road to the legal fiction of corporate personhood. A corporation's prime directive is to amass wealth and power and use that to acquire more wealth and power.

In 2010, the Citizens United ruling overturned two decades of precedent which prohibited corporate and union expenditures on political campaigns. This decision allows big money interests to spend tens of millions of dollars on elections which will drown out our voices. At a time when powerful special interests already have undue influence in our democracy, this decision only gives corporations more power. This will undermine our electoral process and our democracy.

It is time to change the rules. We demand that our elected representatives at the local and national level take a stand against corporate personhood. We demand that our elected officials pass resolutions against corporate personhood. We also need to amend the Constitution to state that the rights contained in that document are solely for human beings.

Nancy Carpenter\nClinical Nutrition Administrative Assistant\nU.Va. Department of Nutrition Services