I'm sure you realize that the entire purpose of a Corporation, is so that people won't be held responsible for their nefarious actions?
You can’t really be this naïve. Take away corporate protections and every owner is liable for whatever happens. That can only sound good until you’ve considered being that guy
. No pools, no equipment rentals, nor roller rinks, no boating supplies, etc-to-eternity would be the result. Not every expensive lawsuit occurs because the defendant did something nefarious.
How precisely would the NAACP fit in your description of having incorporated for the soul purpose of not being held responsible for their nefarious actions? Should they raise money as individuals? Should they owe taxes on the money they raise? Should they not be allowed to file actions as a “juristic or corporate person”? (Welcome back separate but equal!)
What you and Kicky don’t seem to be getting is that in large part: Corporations and Corporate personhood is extremely beneficial for everyone. How long after you became successful in a business would you hold it, if any unforeseen disaster would bankrupt you and your family?
As for Kicky’s questions about treating corporate persons the same way under the law; in large part; we already do. See what happens if they discriminate, or someone discriminates against them… or pretty much every other kind of civil dispute. Criminal behavior almost invariably requires intent… and intent is provided by whoever directs the corporate action… so there is no real gap in treatment to be fixed.
I suspect part of the problem is that David is convoluting this issue by playing along with the silly notion of giving corporations a vote. As Thomas has already clarified; voting has never been hinged to citizenship… and in many cases still isn’t… so that whole tangent is just so much nonsense. The concept of corporate personhood dates at least as far back as 1819 (See Dartmouth College v. Woodward)… a time when only a fraction of people in this country could vote (Many State hadn't even done away with land-owning requirements, religious tests, etc., let alone race/sex restrictions.) In that instance, the State wanted to have its way with the little school; but the Supreme Court ruled the Contract Clause of the United States’ Constitution trumped the New Hampshire legislature, thereby reversing the State’s attempt to take control as unconstitutional.
Article I, section 10, clause 1 (Contract Clause) reads: “No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts
, or grant any Title of Nobility.”
Since the school’s charter was originally set up by the King of England; obviously by 1819 the charter no longer represented a contract between actual human persons. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution, nonetheless, was that although the school’s charter no longer represented a contract between human persons, it was valid under our Constitution just the same. This is probably the first landmark case involving a juristic person… and there was nothing too nefarious about it. Too many people think Corporations are the boogieman, but this is just plain silly.