The Supremes did us a favor with Citizens United regarding Rand Paul et al
By Daniel Becker
Ok, if you have not heard, Mr Rand Paul made quite the impression during an interview with Rachel Maddow. The short of it: businesses should be free to discriminate as they see fit. It’s their right, though he’s not for discrimination. You know, citizens and all having equal rights.
Well, there is a problem with Mr. Paul and his like’s argument. The Supremes ruled that businesses (at least corporations) are people. You recall that “Citizens” United case? Seems to me, being that Corps are now citizens, they fall under the same citizen law regarding Civil Rights. That is they can’t discriminate. Thus, the entire argument that businesses have rights outside of citizens as presented by Paul et al is now moot. The entire section of the Civil Rights act that Mr. Paul supported his argument on is now redundant within that law.
Of course, they could decide that being a corp and having the right to discriminate is more important than the right to spend on elections. But, I don’t think the US Chamber is willing to swap the money maker right for the right to be prejudicial. At least not based on what I received to day:
U.S. Chamber: DISCLOSE Act Is Partisan Effort to
Silence Critics and Gain Political Advantage
Donohue: ‘It’s Unconstitutional. It’s Un-American. And It Must Be Stopped’
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today in response to the House Administration Committee’s markup of the so-called “DISCLOSE Act:”
“The DISCLOSE Act is an unconstitutional attempt to silence free speech and a desperate attempt by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and the immediate past chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Chuck Schumer, to gain political advantage in the 2010 elections.
“Congress should not be wasting its time on an ‘Incumbent Protection Act,’ but instead should be focused on job creation. Nothing makes Americans angrier than members of Congress who are more concerned about protecting their own jobs, rather than creating new ones for unemployed constituents.
Hey Chamber and Rand Paul, you know what else is unconstitutional and unAmerican? Discrimination. Infact that was the entire argument of Citizens United.
With out including what Rand Paul actually said this post is just a simple smear article.
Molly Ivan’s years ago smeared Pat Bucchanan’s speach by writing that it sounded better in it’s original German. At least that was a witty smear.
This Post is pablum.
I did not include a link to the Maddow interview because it is already linked and discussed in many places and assumed that those reading this had heard about it.
So, here is a link to a video with some transcription: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/20/rand-paul-tells-maddow-th_n_582872.html
This post brands Rand Paul a racist. The left promotes identity politics. Mexicans who belong to La Raza which is openly racist, never draws the lefts opprobrium. Blacks racists organizations again abound but are perfectly acceptable, and no group has more organizations promoting their race then Jews, but again this is ok to apperantly.
When Pat Buchannon says that it is bogus that the US Supreme court will soon have 3 Jews and 5 Catholics, but 0 Protestants. Rachelle Maddow and you will lable him racist. Yet when hispanics supported Sotomayor because she is hispanic and Jews support Kagan because she is Jewish you never call them racists. So for you Jewish and Hispanic racists are cool, but a white guy arguing an arcane legal issue has got to go.
I know that consistancy might be a hobgoblin for you, but it does lend credibility.
“Seems to me, being that Corps are now citizens, they fall under the same citizen law regarding Civil Rights. That is they can’t discriminate.”
Well, certainly a nice try but if you think that individual citizens aren’t allowed to discriminate then you’re howlingly wrong. An individual citizen can quite clearly state (and insist, forcefully) that no blacks may enter their home. That they ain’t gonna eat no dinner with no faggots. There is no legal comback to this, this is simply a citizen in the free exercise of his or her rights.
That they are racist or homophobes (depending upon which they say), that they are anathema not just to all right thinking people but even to all those who have even a vague notion of politesse….that still doesn’t make those actions illegal.
Even individuals who are offering business services are allowed to discriminate: even where whoring is legal no one in their right minds would insist that one offering heterosexual services needs to also offer same sex services.
I think the point where your argument fails is that individual citizens are the only people left who are allowed to discriminate…..
Well so much for a new and original voice in politics.
It sure did not take him long to demonstrate that he is just another politician who will say whatever it takes to be elected.
Yes, as an individual in ones own personal world that has no effect on anothers access to all out side of one’s personal world , one can discriminate, but my point was as the public and as a member of the public acting in the concert with the public or acting within the public, you can not.
When one claims public territory or relationship for one’s self to the exculsion of others based on some identity factor, then that is discrimination. When one is claiming access to public territory not to the exclusion of others but to the inclusion of themself, it’s not discrimination.
Everyone promotes identity politics. That is what politics is. Promoting an identity to the exclusion of another is discrimination.
The post does not in any way brand Rand Paul a racist. I don’t see how you can arrive at that kind of conclusion without a heavy dose of projection.
One thing that you don’t seem to appreciate is that racism and illegal racial discrimination are two different things. One can be a racist (i.e., a racial bigot) without engaging in illegal racial discrimination. Likewise, one can engage in illegal racial discrimination without being a racist. Racism is a state of mind or being. Illegal racial discrimination requires an act that has a particular effect, and the state of mind of the person perpetrating that act need not be racially bigoted.
Another thing that you don’t seem to get is that a group that engages in promoting the advancement of people of a particular ethnicity, religion or race is not necessarily racist. Again, racism in the broadest sense requires more than merely supporting a common racial identity, it requires denigrating somebody else’s racial identity. That’s part and parcel of being bigoted. Under your view, it would seem that the NAACP and the KKK are both racist, which is an absurd and false equivalency.
Your final point about Sotamayor and Kagan is ludicrous. The fact that Americans of the same ethnicity “support” (whatever that means) their nominations for Supreme Court because of their race does not make them bigots, although they may otherwise be. (And nobody is going to say that Pat Buchanan is a racist for saying something about religion.)
Personally, I don’t have use for racial bigots of any race. That is to say, I engage in legal discrimination against bigots without regard to race, religion, creed or national origin.
I don’t see how the Citizens United decision has any bearing on Rand Paul’s worldview.
The 1964 Civil Rights act applies to all businesses that are open to the public, whether sole proprietorships or corporations.
If you want to make libertarian arguments with Rand Paul, the way you do it is by pointing out that corporations are born of governments not people and derive their limited liability advantage from the state. Thus, any business that is a corporation is properly subject to government prohibitions against discrimination, if they want to enjoy limited liability.
The problem that you run into by accepting the challenge to enter the libertarian arena is that you must accept certain invalid libertarian ideas as valid, it is much harder to defend the prohibition of discrimination by sole proprietorships on libertarian grounds.
IANAL, but even I can tell that your legal argument here is bunkum.
First, corporations have been legal persons for a long time. That doctrine doesn’t imply that corporations have all — or even any — of the rights, privileges, duties, or liabilities of natural persons. That depends on the individual interpretation of laws. For example if Congress passes a law saying “all persons must register for the draft,” obviously that doesn’t imply that corporations have to register for the draft.
Citizens United didn’t change any of this. Citizens United did not say that from now on, corporations have all the same legal status as natural persons. That’s just a horribly garbled rendition of Citizens United. So it’s basically irrelevant.
Second, “business” and “corporation” are not synonyms, anyway. I’d bet that most of the infamous segregated lunch counters were sole proprietorships, or at least unincorporated partnerships. So the point is doubly irrelevant.
It’s easy enough to make Rand Paul look like a jerk, without using dubious arguments. All you have to do is quote him. Hell, you don’t even have to quote him — just mention his first name.
“When Pat Buchannon says that it is bogus that the US Supreme court will soon have 3 Jews and 5 Catholics, but 0 Protestants. Rachelle Maddow and you will lable him racist. Yet when hispanics supported Sotomayor because she is hispanic and Jews support Kagan because she is Jewish you never call them racists. So for you Jewish and Hispanic racists are cool, but a white guy arguing an arcane legal issue has got to go. “
Hmmmmm lets see. Buchanan would be happy if the women recently chosen were a Spanish protestant and a Lesbian protestant? RIIIIIIIIGHT!! He’s simply cherry picking the one thing that he can most criticize and point to as a case of discrimination. Whiny white males looking for reasons to cry victimization are sooooo unattractive.
“nobody is going to say that Pat Buchanan is a racist”
Tell that to the National Jewish Council who is trying to get creators syndicate to stop publishing Pat’s articles. Here is what they say ” “We ask that you pull down Buchanan’s latest column from your website and that you stop publishing his over-the-top, conspiratorial screeds,”
Clever thinking. However, using “Citizens United” to bolster an argument that can stand on its own adds further weight and acceptance to an objectionable and, imo, wrong-headed decision.
Rand Paul’s Libertarian position may use the Constitution as backup, but in the end, it’s a philosophical position that is independent of law. He believes what he believes and has every right to do so.
The problem arises in that he is running for a seat in the legislative branch. To the extent people do not understand Libertarianism, and Paul’s positions regarding much of what is already law as well as what is likely to be debated, those who vote for him are likely to be in for a surprise.
I can’t help but think of all the regulators put in place by the previous administration whose philosophy was anti-regulation.
“When one claims public territory or relationship for one’s self to the exculsion of others based on some identity factor, then that is discrimination.”
Rand Paul made no such claim that any discrimination should be allowed to occur on public territory. In fact he specifically argues against discrimination either public or private. What he said was that the supreme court had blurred the lines bettween what was private and what was public. The court he argues made public that which was private. This arguement is consistant with his views as a libertarian that the government should not overstep its bounds, and make public what is private.
He advocates smaller government not a racist population, yet you have distorted his arguement to to make it appear that he is a racist. Typical liberal slime.
Pat Buchanan has said lots of things in the past that have caused people to accuse him of being a racist (i.e., a racial bigot). That’s his cross to bear, and he gladly bears it because he makes a lot of money off of it.
My point was that the specific Buchanan statement that you referred to was about RELIGION not RACE. Get it? You don’t call a religious bigot a racist, which is a racial bigot. Those are two different animals. It would be like calling a dog a cat because both are mammals.
And it doesn’t look like the National Jewish Council is calling Buchanan a racist. You need to approach reading as something that you do to understand reality, not as something that you do to confirm what you think you already know.
Go back and read the letter in its entirety. It’s about religion.
Check out this post for the argument that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was an instance in which federal government intervention actually increased freedom by preventing oppression by local governments.
The Isreali law of return which determine who is Jewish and who is not is based exclusively on race. It makes no difference if your parents or grandparents where secular or obsevant, The only thing that matters is that ones ancestors where born of Jewish blood. Some who contribute to this blog consider themselves Jewish although they are not religious. If Jews consider themselves a race, why do you feel compelled to convince me they are a religion? If Buchanan observes there are 3 Jews and 5 Catholics but no protestants in a nation that is 50% protestant why is he a bigot.
Yes, I agree that Citizens United was wrong headed. What I present is simple a next step argument if we are to take Citizens United as ruled.
I learned a long time ago that a problem with law is the reduction approach to arguing a case. Case’s are very rarely if ever decided on the whole of the issue. Instead a clever lawyer will narrow the question to a smiple black/white issue. The next cleaver lawyer will use that decision to go a step further again by reducing the issue to a smiple black/white question. Before you know it, the decisions give personhood to an entity that exists only as a human thought.
Citizens United is just the next step in the reductionist approach to arguing a case toward rights of personhood as complete as you and I have. As it relates to power, the “right” given regarding political spending with is just one step removed from voting. Voting is the power and the only power. Its power is in the singular action. Voting is the final expression of “free speech” regarding our governance. Citizens United gave that power to corporations via the extending free speech to such an entity.
I posted on this a while ago responding to an argument Glenn Greenwald made in support of the decision.
Yes, I noted in my comments that business is not the same as corps.
I was not trying to make Rand Paul look like a jerk. I was attempting to point out that his argument to support his case could be considered moot as it relates to Citizens United.
The other side of the coin is that if crops are persons and thus act as an individual and individuals can do as they please as a private matter, then Citizens United can be used to take the next step that a corp has a “right” to act prejudicially if it so chooses. And thus, Paul would be correct.
Arguing law has become a matter of asking what outcome do we want and what prior arguments (case law) get us to our stepping off point for ones case. Every judge/lawyer knows this is what happens and is why anyone can label any decision judicial activism and be correct.
So, if congress passes a law that says all persons must register for a draft, a lawyer can make a reasonable argument based on “doctrine” and Citizens United that corporations must be considered as having to comply with said law. It simply can not follow that any entity having a human, inalienable right (which free speech is) only posses that singular right because We the People say so. That is prejudicial. It is also completely undoing the entire thought regarding inalienable rights that our ideal and thus our governance is based on. However, if it does follow that a corp is entitled to only this singular right, then the corp does not have a right, it has instead been granted a priviiege by those with the sole power to do such: We the People. That being the case, then We the People can also choose not to grant such a privilege.
Now, you can say this is just crazy, but, to say such just supports how much our ideal of rule of law has been contaminated by our unwillingness to acknowledge its only an exercise in thought. That law has any power or strength is simply do to us agreeing to abide by it for what ever reason.
I don’t particularly care what Israeli law says because it does not apply in America.
The only reason why you care about Israeli law is that it helps you cling to your worldview, which is demonstrably at odds with the facts. The National Jewish Council’s letter talks about religion.
As to Pat Buchanan, if all he had ever done was utter that single somewhat innocuous statement, it would be very hard indeed to argue successfully that he is a bigot. I’m not saying that people wouldn’t call him a bigot if that was the only thing he’d ever said on the topic, but sticks and stones, etc. (The fact that you’re so hung up on the fact that people call Pat Buchanan a name is quite fascinating, actually.)
Unfortunately for Mr. Buchanan and you, the man has said so many other similar things that, in context, it is impossible for anyone of good conscience to argue that he’s not a bigot.
That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to have a beer with the guy or that I couldn’t be his friend. I actually think he comes across as quite personable, and he reminds me very much of people that I know and respect but disagree with on a variety of social topics. He’s an old school, principled conservative that never joined the neo-con bandwagon, which makes him a rare bird these days.
uh, no. your argument does not make sense. How does corporation “being equal to citizens” mean they cannot be discriminatory in their views? If anything, it would be the opposite.
Well, actually, there’s a difference between “views” and actions. The individual landlord of a small apartment building is free to have his “views,” but he is not free to discriminate against certain listed groups when he rents an apartment. Same would apply to corporations…. and has for a long time.
oh, I knew you agreed about Citizens United. And I agree that “law” can lead to some very unjust ends.
As for corporations, if I had my way, we’d go back to The People, through their government, granting time limited charters which would offer limited liability in exchange for some duties and responsibilities, etc. Fail in that and your charter is gone.
On the other hand, one of my prime arguments against granting corporations special privileges or even “personhood,” is that as virtually immortal constructs they already have an unfair advantage.