By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Like many on the left side of the philosophical spectrum, I was taken aback at the Supreme Court's ruling this week in Citizens United v. FEC. Who knew that corporations were entitled to the same right to free speech that individual citizens are? I had heard phrases about corporate citizenship, of course, and being "good corporate citizens," but I had no idea that the five justices in the court's "precedent? We don't need no stinking precedent" bloc took it so literally.
But after further thought, I for one welcome our new corporate countrymen. I just have a few questions about which other rights and obligations of citizenship the court might want to grant corporations:
- Do corporations have an individual right to bear arms? I mean other than Blackwater.
- Will corporations now be counted in the Census for purposes of Congressional reapportionment and redistricting? If so, they're going to need a lot more seats for the Delaware delegation.
- Do corporations have a right to vote? If so, must they have been in operation for at least 18 years? If so, sorry Google.
- Must foreign-owned corporations get work visas before doing business in this country?
- Do corporations have the right to an abortion? (Is that what happened to Conan O'Brien's TV show?)
- Must corporations register for the Selective Service?
- Are corporations led by same-sex-CEOs allowed to merge? Or is that only legal in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Iowa?
- At age 65, do corporations become eligible for Social Security and Medicare?
- Would corporations be eligible for healthcare under the Obamacare plan? (Was the auto bailout the corporate equivalent of the public option?)
- Finally: Are corporations now eligible for nomination to the Supreme Court?
In fairness I should note that all of these questions apply to unions as well. It's truly a brave new world into which these "conservative" jurists are leading us.
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