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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments

Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 4718 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 7 million aca signees and counting, i-95 south, nc, politics

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   1001. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4684784)
Again, this is you trying to split the baby in order to walk the lockstep GOP line about "pro life" without having to deal with the actual consequences of believing that a fetus is alive and human.

Nonsense. If anything, there's a stronger case for abortion in cases of rape and incest than for "life of mother," assuming the mother got pregnant willingly. All you're doing is drawing the lines in a way that you (wrongly) believe yields a "gotcha."

***
I did answer it. It was even fairly short and used simple words. What part of it confused you?

You can always tell Bitter Mouse is being creamed in a discussion when he breaks out the "I used simple words" shtick.

Once again, I asked:

So as long as the Koch brothers spend $300 to incorporate some entity purporting to be "the press," your complaint goes out the window?

The mealy-mouthed #987 didn't answer that question. Not by a long shot.
   1002. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4684785)
Not as a point of law, but as a matter of simple justice, why should R.J. Reynolds pay millions of dollars in damages to smokers, while their CEO's life goes on as before?


The old legal expression is that hard cases make for bad law.

Corporations Law (an Limited Liability Company Law) assist the economy by allowing people to invest in economic activity without fear of losing more than their investment.

OTOH if you want to address R.J. Reynolds or some chemical companies, you are dealing with businesses that maybe should not be legal or with some for whom tortious conduct is way of conducting business.

Why haven't some tobacco CEOs been personally hauled up false swearing/perjury charges is a good question, why a Tobacco CEO should or shouldn't be personally liable for sums paid out to smokers in lawsuit settlements is a wholly different question- and if you say they should- where do you stop, where do you draw the line? With what lines of business/products?
   1003. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4684786)
Yes and no. The Kochs themselves aren't hiding their political ideology by any stretch of the imagination. They are attempting to hide their donations behind shells, in order to make it seem the "research" produced by those pay-for-play donations can be trumpeted as unbiased.


People lie. They can lie loud or soft. Mouse's objections are just trivial - oh as long as "the press" is free it's OK. But I am going to ask you and Sam to put aside your cogitative biases here. People you don't like do things you don't like, ergo what they are doing should be illegal. I ask directly now - is the act of political media speech actually damaging - or any more damaging then any other thoughtcrime or "dangerous idea". I am going to give everyone (well... snapper) the benefit of the doubt here and assume we are universally opposed to thoughtcrimes.

But when push comes to shove - what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. You say "IF you register your non-profit organization as a member of the press, you are free to make all the speech". But if you are going to register and track this - you are going to have criteria. You are going to have scrutiny. These are levers that can be used against an organization by some other nexus of power (money) and can be subjected to ARBITRARY regulation. Bow, howdy I was going to register as a member of the press but it turns it it requires $1B in hard currency and 44 Gallons of Baby Jesus Tears.

Oh well, I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.

Go back a few steps. WHY is Freedom of Speech a good thing? Why do you support it? Think of those reasons - and why they need to apply universally. The last time this came up in OTP someone gave the example of a phony corporation that paid it's CEO 100% of it's assets, and that CEO went and spent that money on "personal speech". Which of course we all agree should not be infringed, oh no.

Wait... I thought of an extremely narrow argument here. I could say mantaining that entities that protect from liability (i.,e like a corporation) *could* be excluded from speech infringement BECAUSE they are not fully liable for libel. But that seems not really what the objection is. You can (of course) still sue the corporation for libel/slander or other inciting a riot or whatever harmful speech... and (assuming you win) you will get awarded all their stored up speech in their speech accounts.

But that seems like an argument against limited liability, not campaign ad finance (which is really the only thing we are objecting too). Or are we going to ban Advertising?
   1004. zenbitz Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4684787)
Moreover, you don't even understand the concept of limited liability. It's investors whose liability is limited; people are always liable for their own actions.


Well, I certainly don't even if Andy might. So if I own 88% of a company that buys air time to libel the good name of Nierporent - am I liable or not? Does it matter if I declare myself CEO or am on the Board? Does it matter if I am even an employee?

What if I bankrupt the company running these ads?
   1005. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4684792)
Mouse's objections are just trivial - oh as long as "the press" is free it's OK


Sigh.

My objection is that corporations should not be treated as if they are people, because they are not. Not people, so they do not have the constitutional rights of people.

The Press is also not a person. However it has its own constitutional rights.

Simply incorporating as "the press" is not a magical elixir, but such entities get those rights enumerated to them. And they have limitations, just like people have rights and limitations to those rights. Heck even corporations (not press division) have rights and limitations on those rights.

But, corporations do not have rights of free speech or religion. Those are people rights.

Which of those sentiments are trivial?
   1006. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4684794)
Because freedom of the press is explicitly called out,
As is freedom of speech.
while freedom to spend corporate money for political purposes is not. If the Koch's company found a press outfit
What is a "press outfit," and how does it differ from Citizens United?
and use that, then they are (in my world) golden. They should not be allowed to have their company spend money though. They should be allowed to spend personal money.

This is not that complicated. People have the right to free speech (where sadly money matters a great deal). The Press has rights as well. Random corporation does not.
It's not that complicated, but you've managed to get it wrong. The press is people; "the press" in the first amendment doesn't refer to an industry; it refers to publishing as opposed to speech. If the first amendment doesn't apply to companies, then companies don't have press rights any more than they have speech rights.
   1007. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4684796)
So you missed the part about freedom of the press I guess.
If corporations don't have rights, as you mistakenly think, then freedom of the press is irrelevant to them. Individuals have press rights, but corporations don't.
   1008. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4684797)
The Press is also not a person. However it has its own constitutional rights.

Simply incorporating as "the press" is not a magical elixir, but such entities get those rights enumerated to them. And they have limitations, just like people have rights and limitations to those rights. Heck even corporations (not press division) have rights and limitations on those rights.

But, corporations do not have rights of free speech or religion. Those are people rights.

Which of those sentiments are trivial?

It doesn't even rise to "trivial." It's gibberish.

Simply incorporating as "the press" is not a magical elixir, but such entities get those rights enumerated to them. And they have limitations, just like people have rights and limitations to those rights. Heck even corporations (not press division) have rights and limitations on those rights.

Is there a government-imposed "limitation" on the money spent by The New York Times on its editorial page?

Also, are you confirming that if the Koch brothers incorporate Koch Bros. Press, you would no longer have a complaint about them vis-a-vis spending money on political speech?
   1009. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4684798)
People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s).

[Citation needed.]
The right of the people to peaceably assemble...
   1010. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4684800)
Is there a government-imposed "limitation" on the money spent by The New York Times on its editorial page?


There are limitations to what can be published, yes. Does that fact surprise you? Did you think they could magically engage in any activity they wanted? That's dumb, even for you.

Like I said they have rights and limitations. But they are not people and so they should not get rights like people do.
   1011. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4684802)
It doesn't even rise to "trivial." It's gibberish.


Translation: I used abstraction which confused poor JoeK. Sorry dude.
   1012. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4684803)
Translation: I used abstraction which confused poor JoeK. Sorry dude.

Someone is, indeed, very confused here.

Hint: It isn't me.

There are limitations to what can be published, yes. Does that fact surprise you? Did you think they could magically engage in any activity they wanted? That's dumb, even for you.

Like I said they have rights and limitations. But they are not people and so they should not get rights like people do.

More gibberish, plus some goalpost-shifting. We were discussing money as speech, not libel laws or whatever it is you're referencing.
   1013. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4684805)
The right of the people to peaceably assemble...


Unusually disingenuous, even for you.
   1014. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4684811)
People have the right to forms groups to advance their cause(s).

[Citation needed.]

Not really, but see #996, or just enter enter "freedom of association" in Westlaw or the search engine of your choice. Or just continue trolling.

   1015. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4684812)
Well, I certainly don't even if Andy might. So if I own 88% of a company that buys air time to libel the good name of Nierporent - am I liable or not? Does it matter if I declare myself CEO or am on the Board? Does it matter if I am even an employee?

What if I bankrupt the company running these ads?


You would be liable if Nieporent could establish that your corporation is a sham, it is and acts solely as your alter ego, in jargon he would have to "pierce the corporate veil," and if successful he could reach past the corporation and get at your assets.
   1016. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4684813)
Well, I certainly don't even if Andy might. So if I own 88% of a company that buys air time to libel the good name of Nierporent - am I liable or not? Does it matter if I declare myself CEO or am on the Board? Does it matter if I am even an employee?
Ownership is not an act; the whole point of incorporation is to protect mere ownership from liability. (IOW, the "limited liability" is of the owners, not of the corporation, which has unlimited liability.) So you as investor are safe. But you as CEO or board member or employee, depending on your actual involvement in libeling me, could indeed be liable. Typically an injured person sues the company rather than an employee because the company is the one with the $. But if a corporate employee commits a tort against you, you can sue him regardless of the fact that he's a corporate employee.
   1017. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4684818)
Sigh.

My objection is that corporations should not be treated as if they are people, because they are not. Not people, so they do not have the constitutional rights of people.

The Press is also not a person. However it has its own constitutional rights.
No. "The press" is not an entity with rights. People have the right to freedom of the press, just like they have the right to freedom of speech. If corporations aren't included in people, then the New York Times Co. cannot assert any rights to freedom of the press, any more than it can assert rights to freedom of speech. Only individual reporters would be able to assert their press rights.
   1018. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:31 PM (#4684820)
Corporations are not people and should not be accorded those rights that we give people.
That's an argument that would allow the government to restrict virtually every newspaper, book publisher, film company & many websites. No thanks.

So you missed the part about freedom of the press I guess.

If corporations don't have 1st Amendment rights, it follows that corporations that own newspapers, magazines, book publishers, and websites don't have Constitutional protection, which is an absurd construction. Or perhaps the Unhappy Rodent thinks he or the government should select the corporations that deserve 1st Amendment protection. Again, no thanks, that isn't the law and has never been the law.
   1019. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4684822)
but see #996


Disavowing conservative judicial doctrine now? My, you really are desperate to support oligarchy.

Nonetheless, it's good to have you on our side for things like abortion rights and gay marriage.
   1020. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4684825)
The Press is also not a person. However it has its own constitutional rights.

See #1017. You're just making up stuff that isn't true as a matter of 1st Amendment law. Freedom of the press is a right to publish that belongs to all Americans without regard to the form in which they organize their business or the nature of their business, if any.
   1021. Dan The Mediocre Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4684826)
Ownership is not an act; the whole point of incorporation is to protect mere ownership from liability. (IOW, the "limited liability" is of the owners, not of the corporation, which has unlimited liability.)


How can a corporation be expressing the rights of owners who have been separated from it? If the various owners are still connected to it enough to share rights with it, they should also be sharing responsibilities with it, such as liability.

   1022. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4684827)
Disavowing conservative judicial doctrine now?

Apparently, the only thing you know about originalism or conservative judicial doctrine is that you don't like them. Freedom of association is a basic right. Period. Full stop.
   1023. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4684831)
The right of the people to peaceably assemble...


I actually agree with you here, but be man enough to acknowledge that you're arguing to a penumbra.
   1024. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4684832)
Freedom of the press is a right to publish that belongs to all Americans without regard to the form in which they organize their business or the nature of their business, if any.


If the press is not a unique form of citizen organization, why is it the only form of citizen organization aside from the "militia" of the 2nd called out in the BoR?
   1025. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:53 PM (#4684833)
Freedom of association is a basic right. Period. Full stop.


Then I'm sure you won't mind quoting me the Constitutional text.

Oh, and nice dodge.
   1026. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 11, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4684835)
The old legal expression is that hard cases make for bad law.

Corporations Law (an Limited Liability Company Law) assist the economy by allowing people to invest in economic activity without fear of losing more than their investment.

This is, or at least has been, true in general. But there's a Tainter problem here, that as it becomes clear that certain unscrupulous activity is legal, that particular activity will become more common and more destructive, as the law in effect condones such activity. We can address it or we can hand over ever-growing sums into the vampire squids' tentacles.
   1027. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4684837)
Apparently, the only thing you know about originalism or conservative judicial doctrine is that you don't like them.


"Conservative judicial doctrine," in practice on the SCOTUS, can be boiled down to two summaries:

1. GOP appointed justices (Alito, Scalia, Roberts) who will rule in 99% of the cases in whatever direction the GOP political preferences lie, and make up "judicial reasoning" to support their rulings after the fact.

2. Clarence Thomas.
   1028. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4684838)
Freedom of association is a basic right. Period. Full stop.

Then I'm sure you won't mind quoting me the Constitutional text.

If you don't think Freedom of Association is a Constitutional right, fine, you're a minority of one, as best I can tell. Read the 1st, 9th, 10th & 14th Amendments, and/or Justice Harlan's opinion in NAACP v. Alabama. Or you can continue trolling.
   1029. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4684839)
Freedom of the press is a right to publish that belongs to all Americans without regard to the form in which they organize their business or the nature of their business, if any.

If the press is not a unique form of citizen organization, why is it the only form of citizen organization aside from the "militia" of the 2nd called out in the BoR?

Can you cite a single case that supports that construction? No, you can't.
   1030. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:13 PM (#4684840)
Can you cite a single case that supports that construction? No, you can't.


I'm arguing principle. You can't counter the argument, so you run to the resort of case law. Which is typical of both lefties and righties in these things. Again, if we trust the "founders" to be all-wise in this era, and we trust their Holy Writ of the Constitution to be the last word, then I ask again; if the press is not a unique form of social organization, why is it called out specifically in the Bill of Rights? How would a form of social organization that didn't exist until the late 1800s, the corporation, be handled in this argument to Founding Wisdom methodology?

If you can't argue the point, just admit as much.
   1031. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4684845)
if the press is not a unique form of social organization, why is it called out specifically in the Bill of Rights? How would a form of social organization that didn't exist until the late 1800s, the corporation, be handled in this argument to Founding Wisdom methodology?

That's never been how the 1st Amendment has been interpreted, nor should it be. Why should the Podunk Post have rights that Joe Sixpack doesn't? Freedom of the press is a right to publish that every American has. That was what was intended and what the Courts have always held. That some now twist themselves into a pretzel to suggest other interpretations doesn't make those interpretations credible.
   1032. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4684846)
If you don't think Freedom of Association is a Constitutional right, fine, you're a minority of one, as best I can tell. Read the 1st, 9th, 10th & 14th Amendments, and/or Justice Harlan's opinion in NAACP v. Alabama.


It's not that I don't think freedom of association is a right. I do. It's that you can't use conservative judicial doctrine to get there. Only liberal doctrine. We liberals welcome your rebirth.

But even then, the penumbras of that right you try to invoke don't get you to corporations having the right to make campaign contributions, much less to for-profit corporations claiming religious rights.
   1033. Mefisto Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4684847)
Deleted. Double post.
   1034. bobm Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:47 PM (#4684852)
If the press is not a unique form of citizen organization, why is it the only form of citizen organization aside from the "militia" of the 2nd called out in the BoR?

The "press" was meant as the technology to produce the written word, as opposed to the spoken word, or "speech". Press akin to "media" as metonym for news organizations came later.
   1035. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:56 PM (#4684855)
Well, I certainly don't even if Andy might. So if I own 88% of a company that buys air time to libel the good name of Nierporent - am I liable or not? Does it matter if I declare myself CEO or am on the Board? Does it matter if I am even an employee?


Ownership is not an act; the whole point of incorporation is to protect mere ownership from liability. (IOW, the "limited liability" is of the owners, not of the corporation, which has unlimited liability.) So you as investor are safe.

Distinction noted and taken.

But you as CEO or board member or employee, depending on your actual involvement in libeling me, could indeed be liable. Typically an injured person sues the company rather than an employee because the company is the one with the $.

Of course.

But if a corporate employee commits a tort against you, you can sue him regardless of the fact that he's a corporate employee.

So in cases where tobacco companies have been successfully sued, and when it was demonstrated during the trial that specific tobacco company individuals were cognizant of the actions that were determined to cause the harm, could the plaintiffs then use those findings to initiate a separate suit against those specific individuals?

Obviously in most cases it might make more sense to go hunting where the ducks are, but if those individuals could be sued separately, it might well serve as a deterrent to future individuals in similar positions.
   1036. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 11, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4684857)
If the press is not a unique form of citizen organization, why is it the only form of citizen organization aside from the "militia" of the 2nd called out in the BoR?
It's not. "The press" in the first amendment refers to the machine, not an "organization" for which the word is metonymic.

EDIT: Coke to bobm. (I posted my post several minutes ago, but for some reason the page wouldn’t load.)
   1037. GordonShumway Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4684886)
So in cases where tobacco companies have been successfully sued, and when it was demonstrated during the trial that specific tobacco company individuals were cognizant of the actions that were determined to cause the harm, could the plaintiffs then use those findings to initiate a separate suit against those specific individuals?


I assume you mean can a plaintiff, after successfully winning a lawsuit at trial on the substantive merits against a defendant corporation, then sue a corporate officer for additional money damages for the same injury claims? I don't mean to be pedantic or nitpicky, but precision of language is very important in law and your question above is open to a lot different interpretations and hypotheticals.

That being said, ignoring all the various nuances, the basic rule in tort law is a plaintiff can't double collect for damages. So let's say a smoker had $500k worth of injuries and losses in terms of medical bills, lost income from missing work, and pain and suffering. If a plaintiff already collected $500K from the defendant corporation for those injuries and losses, he can't collect another $500k from a corporate officer for the same losses and injuries. That second suit would be dismissed pretty quickly by a judge.


   1038. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4684889)
Some cracks in the Democratic coalition - Union Threatens House Democrats Opposing Keystone Pipeline:
A letter distributed Friday by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) to the districts of 27 House Democrats calls for union members to make sure their representative "feels the power and the fury of LIUNA this November."

Their crime: signing a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry last month urging him to reject Keystone, which would carry oil sands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

"Your member of Congress is trying to destroy job opportunities for our LIUNA brothers and sisters," said the letter signed by Terry O'Sullivan, the general president of LIUNA.

Keystone approval is long overdue, although there are reports that the Obama Administration may try to postpone a decision until after the 2014 election. Some leadership, if that proves to be the case.
   1039. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 11, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4684891)
I assume you mean can a plaintiff, after successfully winning a lawsuit at trial on the substantive merits against a defendant corporation, then sue a corporate officer for additional money damages for the same injury claims? I don't mean to be pedantic or nitpicky, but precision of language is very important in law and your question above is open to a lot different interpretations and hypotheticals.

Fair enough, but that's indeed what I meant.

That being said, ignoring all the various nuances, the basic rule in tort law is a plaintiff can't double collect for damages. So let's say a smoker had $500k worth of injuries and losses in terms of medical bills, lost income from missing work, and pain and suffering. If a plaintiff already collected $500K from the defendant corporation for those injuries and losses, he can't collect another $500k from a corporate officer for the same losses and injuries. That second suit would be dismissed pretty quickly by a judge.

Yeah, that's logical, but it brings us back to Square One, which is that CEO's or other corporate officials can make life destroying decisions concerning their products, and more or less walk away personally unscathed in spite of their actual personal culpability. For obvious financial reasons, it would make little sense for a plaintiff to choose to go after an individual rather than the corporation, but that logical choice then lets the real criminals off the hook.
   1040. GordonShumway Posted: April 12, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4684975)
Yeah, that's logical, but it brings us back to Square One, which is that CEO's or other corporate officials can make life destroying decisions concerning their products, and more or less walk away personally unscathed in spite of their actual personal culpability. For obvious financial reasons, it would make little sense for a plaintiff to choose to go after an individual rather than the corporation, but that logical choice then lets the real criminals off the hook.


Well, there are a lot of exceptions to the basic rule, but I hesitate to go into it much since the exceptions depend so much on the type of wrong committed, the tort liability laws for the particular wrong at the state and federal level, as well as the laws of liability of corporate officers in the particular state that in which a company incorporated.

However, even if you changed the tort, corporation, property, and bankruptcy laws to be much friendlier to plaintiffs looking to sue corporate officers, there are two major, pretty intractable problems:

1.) Many, if not most, corporate officers will go to the mattresses in putting up as strong a legal fight as possible to avoid personally paying damages and avoid admitting, or a finding of, liability. Plaintiffs' lawyers in these type of cases often work on contingency; the cost of any additional hours they work can't be passed off to a client. Thus, plaintiffs' lawyers are often reluctant to sue individual corporate officers because such cases will eat up a lot of their time.


2.) Much more importantly, a lot of corporate officers are a lot poorer than you would think. I don't have a lot whole lot of experience in this matter, but I have been involved in some cases where senior corporate officers of large corporations were sued, and it was always surprising how asset-poor they were despite their high income. After paying for their children's trust funds; paying for their children's fancy boarding schools and summer camps; paying for nannies, housekeepers, and landscapers; paying for very quickly depreciating luxury cars and boats; flying first class and staying at five star hotels on exotic vacations; paying sky high golf and country club fees - a lot of corporate officers don't have much left to take.




   1041. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 12, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4684977)
But for just 75 cents a day, you can make a real difference in a CEO's life. As soon as you become a sponsor, we will send you a photo of your CEO. Won't you help?
   1042. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4684985)
2.) Much more importantly, a lot of corporate officers are a lot poorer than you would think. I don't have a lot whole lot of experience in this matter, but I have been involved in some cases where senior corporate officers of large corporations were sued, and it was always surprising how asset-poor they were despite their high income. After paying for their children's trust funds; paying for their children's fancy boarding schools and summer camps; paying for nannies, housekeepers, and landscapers; paying for very quickly depreciating luxury cars and boats; flying first class and staying at five star hotels on exotic vacations; paying sky high golf and country club fees - a lot of corporate officers don't have much left to take.

That likely varies depending on the individual in question, but the point of a suit against an individual CEO would be more to strip him of his possessions and garnish his future earnings, in order to dispel the bogus idea that individuals within corporations should be held personally exempt for decisions that they can be shown to have made. As a simple ethical point, why should (for example) a tobacco company CEO not be held liable for the products he sells, and for the deceptive marketing campaigns he approved?

There have been numerous cases where tobacco companies have been forced to pay many millions of dollars in damages in settlements. And I understand as a practical matter that a plaintiff would want to go after the biggest piggy bank, i.e. the corporation rather than the CEO.

But that said, there's still something morally dubious about the idea that a corporate official can sign off on products and ad campaigns that result in untold health and financial costs to consumers, and not personally wind up on skid row in retribution for his actions. If nothing else, facing such a prospect might serve as a greater deterrence to similarly placed individuals than simply having to write a company check that leaves their personal fortunes largely intact.



   1043. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4685015)
OK I see the moron brigade is still not understanding. Once more into the breech.

First of all, as I have said already multiple times I am expressing my opinion and not current American Constitutional law. Continuously quoting case law and/or saying "You got it wrong" is dumb even for JoeK, Clapper and David N.

Second, I don't think corporations are people or should have the rights of people. The main push back to this seems to be OMG Freedom of the Press!

I do think companies which engage in the activity - commonly referred to as "the Press" - of spreading facts and opinions through various media, should get more rights that other corporations.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"


So I don't care that some of you are convinced that "The Press" in the US constitution refers to the act of paper printing by an individual and not media outlets.

So let's recap. People have rights. Religion. Free Speech. Assembly. And so on. Corporations generically do not have such rights (which means they have fewer protections, not that they are helpless). Individuals or Corporations that are engaged in activities related to "The Press" have additional protections other corporations do not regarding those activities.

All of these things (for the really slow out there) are what I believe should be true and also I believe fit in very well with the spirit of the US constitution. The fact that case law disagrees with me is sad, but does not invalidate this opinion. Especially since the very idea of treating corporations, organizations, as if they were sentient people is so stupid it boggles that anyone anywhere ever thought it was a good idea.
   1044. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4685018)
Second, I don't think corporations are people or should have the rights of people. The main push back to this seems to be OMG Freedom of the Press!

Yes, and I suppose that we didn't have Freedom of the Press before Citizens United. Prior to 2011 we must have been living in a totalitarian state.
   1045. Mefisto Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4685023)
I do think companies which engage in the activity - commonly referred to as "the Press" - of spreading facts and opinions through various media, should get more rights that other corporations.


Let me suggest two additional solutions which I think might be easier to administer: (1) Media would have to operate as partnerships or sole proprietorships, just as they did in the Founding Era (ignoring for now the rampant tyranny our forefathers suffered from this); (2) press protections could be statutory rather than Constitutional.
   1046. BDC Posted: April 12, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4685027)
Prior to 2011 we must have been living in a totalitarian state

How soon we forget tearing down those colossal statues of Nancy Pelosi.
   1047. GordonShumway Posted: April 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4685031)
As a simple ethical point, why should (for example) a tobacco company CEO not be held liable for the products he sells, and for the deceptive marketing campaigns he approved?


I certainly agree with you, as an ethical point, that such people should be held liable. But as a practical point, I don't believe any changes in the law will help much in making that ethical ideal a reality.

Let's take the tobacco industry for example.

1.) First, even if tobacco execs could be easily sued in private rights of action for punitive damages, such execs will make sure that as a part of any settlement agreement they'll get immunity from any individual liability.

2.) Second, even if they neglect to get personal immunity as a part of any settlement agreement, who's going to sue the tobacco execs? In theory, government prosecutors could have prosecuted tobacco execs for fraud and perjury, but IMHO I have next to no faith in either Democrats or Republicans to zealously hold wrongdoing execs accountable.

As for private rights of actions, lawyers generally don't sue to punish or to seek justice, but rather to make money. Here's the executive compensation for the top 2 tobacco companies (Philip Morris and RJR) from 1996-1998 when the class-action lawsuits against the tobacco companies were in full swing:


Philip Morris:

Geoffrey C. Bible; Chairman of the Board and CEO
1998 5975861
1997 10623755
1996 9339191

Murray H. Bring; Vice Chairman, External Affairs and General Counsel
1998 3766843
1997 7451135
1996 2221272

William H. Webb; COO
1998 2332297
1997 4667156
1996 1779947

Louis C. Camilleri; SVP, CFO
1998 4451510
1997 5538946
1996 1486379

Michael E. Szymanczyk; President and CEO, Philip Morris Inc.
1998 4009398
1997 2718765


RJR:

Steven F. Goldstone; Chairman and CEO
1998 12155247
1997 5258531
1996 7372298

James M. Kilts, President & CEO, Nabisco
1998 4859706
1997
1996

Andrew J. Schindler, President & CEO RJR Tobacco
1998 2319231
1997 4047799
1996 2149173

David B. Rickard, SVP & CFO RJR Nabisco
1998 2035580
1997 1856272
1996

William L. Rosoff, SVP & General Counsel, RJR Nabisco, Inc.
1998 2516932
1997


On average, these execs made about $4.62 million a year in total pre-tax compensation. They're doing quite well, but they make a pittance compared to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Wall Street bigshots, and Southwestern oil/gas tycoons.

I don't personally know these execs. But I would be surprised if they on average had saved even 10% of their pretax income. I have met many people both professionally and personally who were at roughly the same income and job position level, and most of them - despite their respectable degrees and respectable suits - had lavish spending habits not too different than ballplayers and rock stars. Most of them were pouring nearly all their money in trust funds, private schools, 5-star hotel suites, yacht leases, sports cars, and so on.

Collectively, these execs probably don't have a whole lot to go after, especially once you deduct out plaintiffs' lawyer's fees, lawyers for each of the defendants, and the cost to liquidate and distribute the assets.
   1048. bobm Posted: April 12, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4685044)
People have rights. Religion. Free Speech. Assembly. And so on. Corporations generically do not have such rights

And how about labor, workers as a group and unions / unionizing? Do you advocate similarly limited rights for them?
   1049. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 12, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4685045)
First of all, as I have said already multiple times I am expressing my opinion and not current American Constitutional law. Continuously quoting case law and/or saying "You got it wrong" is dumb even for JoeK, Clapper and David N.

So why shouldn't we point out that "your opinion" is not supported by either history or law? When did "your opinion" become something that should carry the force of law?

All of these things (for the really slow out there) are what I believe should be true and also I believe fit in very well with the spirit of the US constitution

So Bitter Mouse thinks that his opinions = Constitutional Law, or at least that should be the case? And he accuses others of being "slow"? Americans didn't get rid of George III in order to be ruled by the whims of unhappy rodents.
   1050. zenbitz Posted: April 12, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4685046)
So let's recap. People have rights. Religion. Free Speech. Assembly. And so on. Corporations generically do not have such rights (which means they have fewer protections, not that they are helpless). Individuals or Corporations that are engaged in activities related to "The Press" have additional protections other corporations do not regarding those activities.


Look mouse, usually we are on the same side, but this is really sloppy thinking.

Normally I would just have stopped having expressed my point with as much clarity as my fingers have mustered, but I am going to proceed here not because I really care about campaign finance reform, or someone being wrong on the internet, but because it illustrates my previous point about how it is possible to overcome one's confirmation bias. You see, I was like you and Sam a couple years ago. OBVIOUSLY big corporate money (and in general big money) pouring into political ads was loathsome -- presumably passing laws to stop practices damaging to my view of society is a positive. I had been convinced further by this when I was working for an Austrian company back in 1999 and talking to some Austrians who didn't understand how the US could just let ANYONE spend ANY AMOUNT OF money on political advertising - to quote him "the rich guy would always win".

The reason is because Austria (and Germany and many other European countries do not have the same legal guarentees to free "speech" that we do. As a trivial example, it's illegal to import or sell in Germany a board game (in the specific case - a WW2 simulation with Swastikas on them (and yes I own a few... but the more popular titles have less controversal graphics). Is this a bad law? I mean, who likes Neo Nazis? And the collateral damage from the tabletop cardboard wargaming industry is not measureable (literally DOZENS of players world wide!).

It's a terrble, loathsome law. It's censorship. And to me - censorship is UNIVERSALLY bad. Saying, writing, broadcasting, posting, tweeting, selfy-ing, video-ing ones thoughts, ideas and expression SHOULD NOT BE INFRINGED.
This is not a legal argument. It's morally wrong and terrible for a "free" society. I am basically as much of a communist as anyone here and if you ask me, Lenin's one HUGE mistake was restricting freedom of the press. From that you go basically directly to millions of dead Ukrainians and Black Mariahs and gulags.

So let's recap. As an example we will specifically use "broadcast a 30 minute harangue" as "speech". We agree this is speech and should not be infringed right?

Time to take the Civil Liberties Quiz:

1) Is it OK for me stand on a soapbox and harangue passerby for 30 minutes?
2) Is it OK for me to pay 10 guys to go around town and harangue passerby for 30 minutes?
3) Is it OK for me and my likeminded neighbor to pool our cash and pay 20 guys to go around town and harangue for 30 minutes?
4) What about 500 people paying 5000?
5-8) Replace harangue on a soapbox with a short range radio broadcast of increasing wattage (reach)
10-13) Replace harangue on a soapbox with buy time on cable TV channels of increasing viewership
14-17) Replace the cash pooling with a legal limited partnership in a non-profit -- Harangue, LLP
18-20) Replace the cash pooling with corporation

Now - for any and all of these - does the specific content change your answer?

It doesn't have anything to do with corporate "personhood" or "natural rights handed down by FSM" or constitutional interpretation. All of the those are completely irrelevant.
I don't even have to invoke or fabricate some "special" group of people/organizations called "the press". Do I really need some sort of license or trade union membership to speak my mind freely?

The point is simply that freedom of expression should not be infringed because ... well really because I say so. Like I say "Thou shall not kill". And "People should have universal healthcare".

It's a fundamental principle of a free and just society. The cure is much worse than the disease (buying influence). I have already explained a better cure - just take the money (obviously this is where I diverge from my more right-leaning co-argumentors)







   1051. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: April 12, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4685057)
I have already explained a better cure - just take the money (obviously this is where I diverge from my more right-leaning co-argumentors)

True, but free speech is a Big One to me. If given a choice, I'd rather the top tax bracket be 50% and have unfettered free speech than 15% and the government getting to decide who is allowed to make political speech and when.
   1052. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4685058)
Gordon (#1047),

All good points from a realistic POV, but it'd still be nice to see a few culpable tobacco company CEO's stripped of all their worldly possessions and forced to work at Wal-Mart to support themselves.
   1053. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4685065)
Time to take the Civil Liberties Quiz:

1) Is it OK for me stand on a soapbox and harangue passerby for 30 minutes?


Sure, as long as they're passing by, and you're not stalking them.

2) Is it OK for me to pay 10 guys to go around town and harangue passerby for 30 minutes?

See # 1.

3) Is it OK for me and my likeminded neighbor to pool our cash and pay 20 guys to go around town and harangue for 30 minutes?

See # 1.

4) What about 500 people paying 5000?

See # 1.

5-8) Replace harangue on a soapbox with a short range radio broadcast of increasing wattage (reach)

No problem.

10-13) Replace harangue on a soapbox with buy time on cable TV channels of increasing viewership

No problem.

14-17) Replace the cash pooling with a legal limited partnership in a non-profit -- Harangue, LLP

By problem is solely with the tax sheltering.

18-20) Replace the cash pooling with corporation

No tax writeoffs and full disclosure of contribution sources, and no problem. And the content of the speech shouldn't affect any of this.
   1054. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4685068)
Look mouse, usually we are on the same side, but this is really sloppy thinking.


OBVIOUSLY big corporate money (and in general big money) pouring into political ads was loathsome -- presumably passing laws to stop practices damaging to my view of society is a positive.


You are taking what I said in the wrong context. I have not said that corporations are not allowed to spend money on political ads. What I said is that corporations are not people and do not have free speech rights.

There are many many tings that are legal and yet are not protected rights.

I am OK with laws that limit the influence corporations ability to spend money, but I certainly don't support any and all such laws. Heck even with protected speech there are laws that limit things.

You seem to be assuming that I want all corporate money out of politics. I don't think that realistic. Money has always and will likely always talk, and corporations have plenty of money.

What I do strenuously object to is exactly what I have said, I don't like any ruling or line of thought that treats corporations as if they were people. I think that is a terrible precedent, and very toxic way of dealing with them and feeds into the worst aspects of capitalism (which, BTW, I am rather fond of, but I recognize it has bad bits too).

It's a terrble, loathsome law. It's censorship.


And not even remotely what I am advocating.

Lenin's one HUGE mistake was restricting freedom of the press. From that you go basically directly to millions of dead Ukrainians and Black Mariahs and gulags.


Again I explicitly support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes freedom of the press. I does not however include anything about how corporations are humans and get those rights as well.

It doesn't have anything to do with corporate "personhood" or "natural rights handed down by FSM" or constitutional interpretation. All of the those are completely irrelevant.


Irrelevant to you to you perhaps, but not me. Perhaps you think the idea that many have that corporations are essentially people is not important. Fine. But it is important to me.

Do I really need some sort of license or trade union membership to speak my mind freely?

The point is simply that freedom of expression should not be infringed because ... well really because I say so. Like I say "Thou shall not kill". And "People should have universal healthcare".


You, as a person, absolutely have free speech rights. You have all human rights. Monsanto does not. That doesn't mean Monsanto has no power, is unable to communicate and advocate, or that it will get thrown in a gulag.
   1055. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4685072)
And with all the normal qualifiers I basically agree with Andy in 1053. But all of that is irrelevant to my point.

The government should be allowed to limit the communications of a corporation in ways that should not be allowed to for a person. Why? Because people have rights that corporations don't. There is not some magical slippery slope that leads from there to gulags, that's just silly.
   1056. bobm Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4685073)
[1042] [1047]

Washington Post
Federal regulators suing Buckyballs founder in rare product-recall case
Josh Hicks, Published: January 5, 2014

The tiny, shiny magnets known as Buckyballs have always been a lot more powerful than they look, and now they are at the center of a high-stakes legal dispute over whether the government can hold a busi­ness­ owner personally liable for a consumer recall.

New York entrepreneur Craig Zucker thought he had the most successful venture of his young career when he developed the desk toy in 2009, consisting of pellets that can be twisted and stacked into infinite shapes.

Since then, many children, perhaps more than 1,000, have swallowed various brands of small magnets and required surgery, prompting the Consumer Product Safety Commission to appeal to retailers to stop selling the products and initiate a recall aimed at Zucker’s company and two others.

But Zucker dissolved his business in December 2012, so the commission took the unusual step of filing a lawsuit to hold him personally responsible for a potential recall that could cost up to $57 million, assuming every buyer of the desk toys claims re­imbursement. Zen Magnets and Star Networks USA, which sell similar products, were also named as defendants. [...]

Zucker’s case is rare, not only because the lawsuit names him personally but also because businesses typically cooperate with recall efforts. Before the Buckyballs lawsuit, more than a decade had passed since the commission had resorted to litigation over such a matter. The last case involved air-gun maker Daisy Manufacturing, which ended with a settlement in 2003, according to the agency. [...]

[Pamela Gilbert, who led the commission during the Clinton administration] said companies that dissolve can be problematic for the commission, which has no money for refunds after recalling hazardous products. “That type of situation is very dangerous for the public,” she said. [...]

After Zucker shut down his company, the commission responded by naming him in its lawsuit. The commission supported that move with a legal precedent known as the Park doctrine, which allows the government to criminally prosecute corporate officers for failing to prevent violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Critics say it is a misuse of the doctrine. “At a minimum, this action is an obvious overreach of the CPSC’s authority,” said Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, a conservative legal group backing Zucker. “At a maximum, it is an illegal abuse of power by persons within the commission who seek to punish Mr. Zucker.”

The Consumer Federation of America supports the commission’s stance. “It’s incredibly important for a manufacturer to take responsibility for how their product is used in the marketplace,” said Rachel Weintraub, the watchdog group’s senior counsel. “These magnets have play value to children. They look like candy, and kids are swallowing them and being injured.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/federal-regulators-suing-buckyballs-founder-in-rare-product-recall-case/2014/01/05/5b8c19ec-5087-11e3-a7f0-b790929232e1_story.html
   1057. bobm Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4685077)
I am still waiting to hear a rational justification for why people should lose their rights, I.e., constitutional protections, when they associate in groups, whether it's a corporation, a labor union, or a nonprofit organization.

Should the police be allowed to conduct warrantless searches and seizures of corporate property and files?

Should government be allowed to seize office buildings or factories or warehouses under eminent domain without paying compensation to a corporate owner?
   1058. Morty Causa Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4685081)
Simply because there would be no Constitutional protections (now, we're talking political-legal Bible here) does not mean there can be no legal basis otherwise. It's just not a matter that implicates the Constitution.

A person, a human being, is more than his creations and excrescences. And sometimes less, I suppose.

I don't think the argument people here are having can ever get anywhere as long as you hold the Constitution as sacrosanct repository of divine/natural rights and laws. That's the problem. It's a religious argument at its base. And it's forever inconclusive if you maintain that basis.
   1059. Mefisto Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4685083)
And how about labor, workers as a group and unions / unionizing? Do you advocate similarly limited rights for them?


Nobody has advocated any position other than the narrow one that corporations have no Constitutional rights. Individuals don't lose rights when they form partnerships or other unincorporated associations (most unions). For that matter, and to respond to your 1057, individuals don't lose their rights when they buy shares in a corporation either. Those individuals remain just as free to speak, to get a trial by jury, etc. as they were before.

Look, nobody -- that's not rhetorical: I mean literally NOBODY -- thinks corporations can exercise all the existing Constitutional rights. They can't "bear" arms. They can't be subjected to cruel and unusual punishments. They can't vote. They can't be held in involuntary servitude. Etc. The truly weird thing is that people continue to insist that they have some rights but not others.
   1060. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4685084)
#1057. The people don't lose their rights. And just because corporations are not people does not mean they don't have legal rights. They have some rights. But they are not people.

EDIT: Coke + for Mefisto, who summed up my argument WAY better than I have in many fewer words.
   1061. tshipman Posted: April 12, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4685088)
Look, I see how corporations can have rights to speech. I disagree with the interpretation, but it's fairly clear to me that corporations can at least "speak."

It's much less clear to me how corporations can have a right to religion. It is literally impossible for a corporation to have a religion. It cannot worship, it cannot pray, it cannot believe. The same is, of course, true for unions and any other institutions that are not in fact churches. Interpreting corporations as having religious rights goes way, way beyond the constitution.

Furthermore, any protections would not be necessary. If the state passed a law that prohibited businesses from closing on Sundays, there would already be remedies in the form of the protection of individual rights. Corporations are not capable of religious expression, thus they cannot have a right to do so.

Edit: no one took up my question: Are the rights of a Jehovah's Witness employer being interfered with when they are forced to provide healthcare that includes blood transfusions?
   1062. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 12, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4685089)
Corporations are not capable of religious expression, thus they cannot have a right to do so.


So you're saying there's a business opportunity for a new corporation-friendly religion.
   1063. GordonShumway Posted: April 12, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4685090)
[1056]: thanks.

Without reading anything beyond the posted excerpt, my thoughts are:

1.) Assuming that the claims against Buckyballs are true, I fully support the government's action against the company's founder.

2.) This case seems to be the exception that proves, rather than disproves, the rule. As the article mentioned, before the Buckyballs suit, it's been over a decade since the government initiated a similar suit. Here, unlike in the tobacco cases, there is no corporate deep pocket, as the company was dissolved. Also, the executive against whom compensation is sought is not a mere salaryman like in the tobacco lawsuits, but the founder of the company - ostensibly he was quite wealthy on paper when Buckyballs was doing well and may still be wealthy if cashed out a good amount of stock at the time.
   1064. Morty Causa Posted: April 12, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4685091)
Corporations are not human beings. Why is that so hard to understand? "Personhood" as it applies to corporations does not and was never meant to be taken seriously. Somehow, though (because it is to the interest of some), the figurative has become the literal, and it's too stupid almost for words. It does serve the hyper-technical in that it allows them to get their mental rocks off in silly arguments like those here.

Look, I see how corporations can have rights to speech. I disagree with the interpretation, but it's fairly clear to me that corporations can at least "speak."

That's not the crux of the matter. It's whether there is "Constitutional" protection of the right in question as to corporations, whatever the right is. The Constitution did contemplate itself as having incorporated into itself corporatehood as personhood.
   1065. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 12, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4685114)
I am OK with laws that limit the influence corporations ability to spend money, but I certainly don't support any and all such laws. Heck even with protected speech there are laws that limit things.

No sense continuing in circles on the earlier points, but, just out of curiosity, does your position on corporate political contributions and spending also apply to that of labor unions?

***
Edit: no one took up my question: Are the rights of a Jehovah's Witness employer being interfered with when they are forced to provide healthcare that includes blood transfusions?

Might be wrong, but it seems like David answered this yesterday, at least tangentially. Since RFRA exemptions are on a case-by-case basis, and since blood transfusions are typically much more medically necessary than the morning-after pill, the employer probably has less of a case to exclude such coverage.

That said, I believe Jehovah's Witness employers should be free to provide health insurance that covers or doesn't cover anything they want. Health insurance is — or at least was, prior to Obamacare — a non-obligatory part of a compensation package. Employers should be free to offer whatever type of health coverage they want, and employees should be free to decline the job offer, spend their own money on the excluded coverage(s), or buy a supplemental policy that does cover it/them.
   1066. bobm Posted: April 12, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4685122)
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/business/the-wallet-as-ethics-enforcer.html

Some large shareholders have been working to expand these so-called clawback provisions. Disturbed by companies engaging in improprieties and leaving their shareholders with the bill for the ensuing legal settlements and regulatory fines, these activist investors are trying to put strong recovery policies in place. The goal is to make sure that insiders who engage in questionable conduct are required to pay the piper — and that the companies let shareholders know they have done so.

Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, is one of these investors. As overseer of five municipal employee pension funds with assets of $140 billion, Mr. Stringer and his staff have successfully negotiated expanded thresholds for clawbacks at four companies this year: Allergan, Halliburton, Northrop Grumman and United Technologies. The companies were chosen because they are in heavily regulated industries and were subject to large regulatory settlements in recent years.

Under the agreements with the four companies, pay can be retrieved from a wider array of senior executives than is typical. And recoveries can be sought not only for intentional misconduct and gross negligence, but also for violations of law or company policies that cause significant financial or reputational harm to the institution.

These new clawback thresholds also state that executives can be forced to give back pay even if they did not commit the misconduct themselves; they could run afoul of the rules by failing to monitor conduct or risk-taking by subordinates. Think Citigroup, with the losses arising from its Banamex unit in Mexico.

Finally, Mr. Stringer also requested these companies to disclose, every year, whether or not pay was recovered and the circumstances that led to any recoveries. (Mr. Stringer also worked with another company, PNC Financial, to expand its policy on public notification of some clawbacks.)
   1067. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 12, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4685123)

Last month, some people here were trying to tell me that Mike Huckabee is a better politician than Ted Cruz. Well, here's Huckabee in New Hampshire earlier today:

"My gosh I'm beginning to think that there's more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States."

Oops.
   1068. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4685137)
Last month, some people here were trying to tell me that Mike Huckabee is a better politician than Ted Cruz. Well, here's Huckabee in New Hampshire earlier today:

"My gosh I'm beginning to think that there's more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States."


Oops.

Whereas Cruz just compares the fight against Obamacare to the fight against Nazi Germany. I guess this is what passes for moderation in Kehoskieland.
   1069. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 12, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4685152)

Swing and a miss.
   1070. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4685155)
Swing and a miss.

So do you think that I made up the link in 1068, or do you think that Business Insider is a Commie rag, or do you think that your hero was making a good analogy in comparing Obamacare to Nazi Germany? This should be good.
   1071. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4685159)

In your race to post a "gotcha," you apparently didn't notice that your link is bereft of actual quotes from Cruz that supported the headline's premise.* But I went and looked at his comments, and all I found was a list of examples of appeasement that ended up backfiring. Yawn.


(* "So, we get to Obamacare ..." hardly qualifies as a direct comparison of "Obamacare to Nazi Germany.")
   1072. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4685160)
Edit: no one took up my question: Are the rights of a Jehovah's Witness employer being interfered with when they are forced to provide healthcare that includes blood transfusions?
Actually, I did address that, but I would point out that it doesn't make sense to ask these sorts of questions. Nobody can even begin to answer that except the particular JW employer himself. Whether he has a religious objection to facilitating someone else's transfusion is something only he can say.

(I think it violates any employer's rights to impose any of these sorts of requirements, but I assume that's not the question you're asking; you're talking about a Hobby Lobby-type argument.)
   1073. spike Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4685162)
I guess this is what passes for moderation in Kehoskieland.

Oh, and Huck is also on the Obama is no Christian cause he is down with 'mo marriage tip - a corollary of the "don't blame me, I am just doin' what the book says" defense he offered last week. link

The guy is making the transition from conceivable candidate to no chance in hell pretty quickly. Pay must be better on the lecture circuit.
   1074. spike Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4685164)
Deleted, dammit. Satire is getting harder to tell these days.
   1075. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 12, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4685165)
Furthermore, any protections would not be necessary. If the state passed a law that prohibited businesses from closing on Sundays, there would already be remedies in the form of the protection of individual rights. Corporations are not capable of religious expression, thus they cannot have a right to do so.
Under the theory of law of Hobby Lobby's opponents, there would in fact not be any remedies if such a law were passed.

I would also note that the people above talking about whether companies have first amendment rights wrt Hobby Lobby misunderstand the legal issue; Hobby Lobby's claim is statutory. So when, e.g, BM says that it's okay for there to be laws protecting corporations in certain respects as long as we don't treat them as having constitutional rights, we'll, that's what we're dealing with.
   1076. JuanGone..except1game Posted: April 12, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4685180)
I would also note that the people above talking about whether companies have first amendment rights wrt Hobby Lobby misunderstand the legal issue; Hobby Lobby's claim is statutory. So when, e.g, BM says that it's okay for there to be laws protecting corporations in certain respects as long as we don't treat them as having constitutional rights, we'll, that's what we're dealing with.


I think that your being unfair as the same thing happened during oral arguments for Hobby Lobby. The essential argument, which is at issue in both the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases, is whether we should afford corporations the same rights as individuals. If you read the transcripts, the court itself began conflating both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and 1st Amendment arguments, so I don't think that the debate here is much different. And the RFRA is written around the language of "persons" rather than include any direct reference to corporations. If Congress wants to update RFRA and include corporations as a called out protected class, than by all means do that and let that be a campaign issue.
   1077. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 12, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4685192)
In your race to post a "gotcha," you apparently didn't notice that your link is bereft of actual quotes from Cruz that supported the headline's premise.* But I went and looked at his comments, and all I found was a list of examples of appeasement that ended up backfiring. Yawn.

(* "So, we get to Obamacare ..." hardly qualifies as a direct comparison of "Obamacare to Nazi Germany.")


That Business Insider link was a paraphrase:

Just less than a half hour into his speech in opposition to Obamacare on the Senate floor, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) compared his fight to defund it to the fight against Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

Cruz said that acceptance of Obamacare implementation is like 1930s appeasement of Nazi Germany.


But if you want a more direct citation, TIME provides it:

9. Comparing Obamacare to the Nazis: “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’


That was so embarrassing that the Fox News report on his filibuster omitted it.

But the conservative IJReview came to the rescue with this fuller version of the TIME quote:

“If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”


OTOH at least Cruz got one thing right:

10. “Twenty years from now if there is some obscure trivial pursuit question, I am confident I will be the answer.”





   1078. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:19 AM (#4685263)
No sense continuing in circles on the earlier points, but, just out of curiosity, does your position on corporate political contributions and spending also apply to that of labor unions?


Yup.
   1079. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:57 AM (#4685287)
My objection is that corporations should not be treated as if they are people, because they are not. Not people, so they do not have the constitutional rights of people.
As I've pointed out here before, if corporations have no constitutional rights, then the government could:

(1) Order the New York Times not to criticize the president;
(2) Compel a kosher butcher to sell pork
(3) Kick down the ACLU's door in the middle of the night without a warrant and search its computers;
(4) Seize the Sierra Club's headquarters without paying for it;
(5) Could fine or dissolve the UAW without a hearing;
(6) Allow Yale University a hearing on whether to dissolve it, but refuse to let it have an attorney represent it or to call or question witnesses;
(7) Put the Green Party on trial for sedition and then retry it on the exact same charges after after an acquittal.

(That's the first amendment, first amendment, fourth amendment, fifth amendment, fifth amendment, sixth amendment, and fifth amendment, respectively, for those of you playing at home.) All legal restrictions on the government's ability to do each of the listed things stems from the BoR; if a corporation does not have rights, then it cannot assert them.

(With respect to the first one, you have Mark Field's, "Well, the NYT Company could just dissolve and the newspaper could operate as a sole proprietorship instead" or Bitter Mouse's "Well, freedom of the press is protected so no." But the first is frivolous, and the second misunderstands its own argument. It doesn't matter whether the 1A protects freedom of the press; if a corporation isn't a person and can't assert rights, then it has no standing to assert freedom of the press as an argument, the same way it has no standing to assert freedom of speech. An individual operating a newspaper could cite freedom of the press, but the NYT Co. could not.)
   1080. tshipman Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:59 AM (#4685288)
Might be wrong, but it seems like David answered this yesterday, at least tangentially. Since RFRA exemptions are on a case-by-case basis, and since blood transfusions are typically much more medically necessary than the morning-after pill, the employer probably has less of a case to exclude such coverage.


But transfusions are not medically necessary in many cases. There's a whole interesting field of medicine that revolves around separating a transfusion into component parts to provide them safely to JW's.

Let's take Scientology and psychiatric medicine: you can select employees such that none of them find it medically necessary. Do they also have a case for religious exemption?

Actually, I did address that, but I would point out that it doesn't make sense to ask these sorts of questions. Nobody can even begin to answer that except the particular JW employer himself. Whether he has a religious objection to facilitating someone else's transfusion is something only he can say.


You didn't address it, you just said it should be subject to strict scrutiny. JW does have doctrine on it--JW doctors are permitted to perform transfusions if their conscience allows, but practitioners are not allowed to accept them.

I would also note that the people above talking about whether companies have first amendment rights wrt Hobby Lobby misunderstand the legal issue; Hobby Lobby's claim is statutory. So when, e.g, BM says that it's okay for there to be laws protecting corporations in certain respects as long as we don't treat them as having constitutional rights, we'll, that's what we're dealing with.


But Hobby fails easily on the merits there. Hobby claims that the law fails to "not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion." There is no sacrament in Christianity that includes failing to pay for birth control. There is no rite that includes skirting federal law. There is no service where a priest or pastor burns birth control. No one's exercise of religion is being compromised. The owner of Hobby Lobby is free to go on worshiping.
   1081. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:49 AM (#4685290)
You didn't address it, you just said it should be subject to strict scrutiny. JW does have doctrine on it--JW doctors are permitted to perform transfusions if their conscience allows, but practitioners are not allowed to accept them.
Because the first amendment has (properly) been interpreted as preventing the courts from deciding religious doctrine, it doesn't matter what the religious group's purported doctrine is; it matters what the individual's belief is. (IOW, a court can't tell a particular employer, "You don't get an exemption because it doesn't violate your religion because that isn't what Jehovah's Witnesses believe.") That having been said, if the orthodox JW view is the one you describe, and a JW adheres to that, then he would have no cause for religious complaint, since his religion only forbids him from accepting a transfusion, and he isn't accepting a transfusion. If his religion forbade him from facilitating someone else from receiving a transfusion, then he would be in a position similar to Hobby Lobby¹. Then we would proceed to the next step, which is asking whether the government has a compelling interest in enforcing a transfusion mandate, and whether there is a less restrictive way to do it.

But Hobby fails easily on the merits there. Hobby claims that the law fails to "not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion." There is no sacrament in Christianity that includes failing to pay for birth control. There is no rite that includes skirting federal law. There is no service where a priest or pastor burns birth control. No one's exercise of religion is being compromised. The owner of Hobby Lobby is free to go on worshiping.
You are both falling prey to the first problem I identified in the previous paragraph and misconstruing Hobby Lobby's argument.

(1) You don't get to tell an RFRA plaintiff what his religious views are. If he says that his religion forbids or commands X, you don't get to say, "That's not true. Your religion doesn't say that." Whether you can find a priest or pastor to agree with him or you is not relevant; the courts can't resolve doctrinal disputes.
(2) Hobby Lobby's argument is that it is a sin to use certain forms of birth control², and that is therefore a sin to participate in someone else using those forms of birth control. If you eat pork (and you're Jewish), that's not my problem, halachically speaking. It's your transgression. But if you're Jewish and I supply you with pork to eat, then I am morally culpable. I can't facilitate your eating of pork. That's Hobby Lobby's argument: that facilitating someone else's sin is itself an independent sin. If they provide you with Plan B, then they're complicit and it violates their religious beliefs. And forcing someone to undertake an act that violates their religious beliefs indeed compromises their exercise of religion.


¹ I use "Hobby Lobby" here for shorthand, to refer to all the people challenging the mandate.
² As I repeatedly point out, Hobby Lobby itself only objects to a few forms, not birth control generally. Sometimes I, too, say "birth control" or "contraception" for short, but that's only to save a few characters when typing. It isn't accurate wrt Hobby Lobby, though other plaintiffs do take a broader view.
   1082. Mefisto Posted: April 13, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4685355)
Nice set of horror stories there, David. Of course, all that could have been done by any state, at any time before 1930 when the Bill of Rights began to be applied to the states. No state had any obligation to protect rights at all, much less apply those protections to corporations.

If there's one thing I'm confident of in this world, it's that corporations won't lack for protection by the government. I'm not going to lose any sleep over the idea that our oligarchic overlords will fail to pass statutes to protect themselves.

Now, let's take a look at some of your examples. 2 and 7 don't seem plausible. Most kosher butchers aren't corporations and don't need to be. Even if the Green Party is a corporation (I couldn't find out in a quick search), and even if a corporation could be tried for sedition (rather dubious, since corporations can't speak), the individual members can't be, so they seem pretty safe. On #3, see Oklahoma Press Publishing v. Walling (corporations don't have 4th A rights) and the cases cited below re the 5th A. As for the NY Times criticizing the President (#1), that's exactly what the Sedition Act forbade; rather inconvenient for an originalist. Most labor unions (#5) are unincorporated associations, but I'm too lazy to look up the UAW to see if it's incorporated. It certainly doesn't need to be. #6 is dubious because the shareholders have rights in the corporation and could assert them even if Yale, per se, could not. The same probably applies to #4, though that depends on the circumstances.

I'm still waiting for your originalist argument that the provisions of the BoR apply to corporations. Be sure to explain why it is that some of those provisions apply while others don't (e.g., the president of a corporation can't assert a 5th A privilege on behalf of the corporation: Hale v Henkel; and corporations can't assert such a right themselves: Wilson v US). And why these rights apply to commercial corporations but not municipal corporations. Also explain why corporations don't have the right to vote.
   1083. Mefisto Posted: April 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4685365)
I can't edit my last comment, but let's try to get past the whole "constitutional" issue. Suppose that tomorrow every state in the Union repealed its corporations code. Oops. No more claims of corporate "rights".
   1084. BDC Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4685369)
If you eat pork (and you're Jewish), that's not my problem, halachically speaking. It's your transgression. But if you're Jewish and I supply you with pork to eat, then I am morally culpable. I can't facilitate your eating of pork

Though of course a prohibition on facilitating pork-eating does not exempt anyone from paying taxes that go towards pork subsidies.

I reckon the issues hinge on the definition of "facilitation" and the immediacy of that facilitation. Hobby Lobby sees itself being forced to go to the drugstore and bringing the dreaded Pill home to its daughters. Others might see Hobby Lobby as being enmeshed in a national secular network of taxes, mandates, benefits, etc. that simply can't please everybody's individual religious preferences.
   1085. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4685377)
Though of course a prohibition on facilitating pork-eating does not exempt anyone from paying taxes that go towards pork subsidies.

I reckon the issues hinge on the definition of "facilitation" and the immediacy of that facilitation.


Correct, and no one has sued in opposition to paying general taxes that support Medicaid in providing contraception or abortions. That's remote cooperation. What they are opposing is using their corporate monies to directly provide contraception a abortion that they morally oppose.
   1086. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4685385)
Though of course a prohibition on facilitating pork-eating does not exempt anyone from paying taxes that go towards pork subsidies.

I reckon the issues hinge on the definition of "facilitation" and the immediacy of that facilitation.
No. Your first sentence is correct, but note that the Courts do not deny the exemption based on the argument that paying these taxes doesn't violate people's religious exercise or that it isn't immediate. Rather, they deny the exemption based on the argument that the state has a compelling interest in collecting taxes.
   1087. Morty Causa Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4685386)
As I've pointed out here before, if corporations have no constitutional rights, then the government could:

(1) Order the New York Times not to criticize the president;
(2) Compel a kosher butcher to sell pork
(3) Kick down the ACLU's door in the middle of the night without a warrant and search its computers;
(4) Seize the Sierra Club's headquarters without paying for it;
(5) Could fine or dissolve the UAW without a hearing;
(6) Allow Yale University a hearing on whether to dissolve it, but refuse to let it have an attorney represent it or to call or question witnesses;
(7) Put the Green Party on trial for sedition and then retry it on the exact same charges after after an acquittal.


The government has to be empowered first, though; whatever the system; then the constituents that make up that government have to reach terms of agreement among themselves (and Jeez, it seems the government is shut down, or being threatened with it pretty often and pretty easily). This applies even if there would be no Constitution and independent Voice of God judiciary that can't be overridden except in a very restricted, usually calamitous and catastrophic, way. The rest of the democratic world works without such an all-powerful judiciary and functions as well as we do. England's press has considerable freedom to criticize political figures. Why this pathological fear that things will fall apart if we don't have a Mosaic law that can only be interpreted with ancillary supporting judge-made laws by a secular priestcraft that is both overweening and woefully deficient in so many ways, as you and RDP and others here have claimed (protested really) when it comes to certain rulings you, in your wisdom and knowledge, disapprove of.


   1088. Mefisto Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4685388)
What they are opposing is using their corporate monies to directly provide contraception a abortion that they morally oppose.


Abortion is not at issue, though there are some false assertions to that effect. In any case, Hobby Lobby does not and can not "morally oppose" anything. It's not sentient: it doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear. The claim is rather that certain people who run HL want to control the expenditure of money which isn't theirs.*

*It's doubly not theirs, in fact. In the first instance the money belongs to the corporate entity, not the owners and never the managers. In the second instance, that money is compensation to the employees.
   1089. BDC Posted: April 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4685390)
they deny the exemption based on the argument that the state has a compelling interest in collecting taxes

I see; interesting. I guess a court could find that the state has a compelling interest in regulating health insurance, then? (I guess that's what the dang case is about :)
   1090. Morty Causa Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4685395)
Edit: no one took up my question: Are the rights of a Jehovah's Witness employer being interfered with when they are forced to provide healthcare that includes blood transfusions?

One way to look at is to say that corporations and unincorporated associations can have no feelings of that sort. Only those members that make up that entity can have rights of that sort. The corporation or unincorporated association only reflects a consensus. Many in that consensus may object to what the nominal officiating agents of that entity officially profess. What is being done here, with claims of this sort, is an exercise in specious casuistry. It’s gaming a theory and system to reinsert that which the incorporation winnowed out. It’s a way to gain privilege without the accountability that should come with it. I suppose it would be different if those voices of that entity actually personally bought policies in their names for other people. Why don’t they do that?

You know, there was life before the Constitution. Laws were passed. There were socio-legal-political arrangements. Theoretically, any kind of law could be passed, subject only to the processes and protocols of the electorate and the governing entity. Government and governed is a dynamic. It's not two hermetically sealed and forever separated forces always to be at odds. It's an arrangement that is supposed to work. The arrangement is supposed to make things better on the whole and in general.

An artifice of the law, which is what corporations and associations are, can have no sense of being aggrieved because they have no human values or feelings. To ascribe to them some is a wanton exercise in promiscuous metaphorizing gone wild. Their rights are strictly defined and constrained by the law. To claim otherwise is to engage in mischievous thought games and nothing more.

How can such a thing have feelings or rights or a sense that they have been violated? The arrangement between two such parties (for we’d have to allow the government the same) is strictly a negotiated arrangement in which the party conferring rights (not constitutional rights) has, and should have, the whip hand.

A corporation owes its existence to the state. It is nothing more than what the state says it is.
   1091. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:19 PM (#4685402)
Nice set of horror stories there, David. Of course, all that could have been done by any state, at any time before 1930 when the Bill of Rights began to be applied to the states. No state had any obligation to protect rights at all, much less apply those protections to corporations.
Yes, and? Also, states could enforce segregation.

If there's one thing I'm confident of in this world, it's that corporations won't lack for protection by the government. I'm not going to lose any sleep over the idea that our oligarchic overlords will fail to pass statutes to protect themselves.
Given the trajectory of our government since FDR was elected, I'm quite confident that the opposite is the case. In any case, "I don't think that would happen" is not much of a legal argument. There is zero chance in the universe we actually live in that black people will ever have their voting restricted, but that hasn't stopped hysteria over a minor narrowing of the VRA.

I don't know why you think kosher butchers aren't incorporated (or LLCs), let alone why they "don't need to be". In a world where liability rules were sane, your repeated argument, "X doesn't need to incorporate" might make sense. But with no requirement for privity, with the doctrines of contributory negligence and assumption of risk treated as dead letters, with joint and several liability, who would run a business with that much potential for liability without any protection?

I'm still waiting for your originalist argument that the provisions of the BoR apply to corporations.
I'm still waiting for an argument why they wouldn't. To be sure, the first amendment doesn't specify corporations; it also doesn't mention the Internet. So what?

Also, not sure why you're citing a case from 1946 for the proposition that the fourth amendment doesn't apply to businesses. See Marshall v. Barlow's.


I can't edit my last comment, but let's try to get past the whole "constitutional" issue. Suppose that tomorrow every state in the Union repealed its corporations code. Oops. No more claims of corporate "rights".
Suppose that tomorrow every state in the Union abolished public parks, squares, etc. (Anything that would be recognized under existing jurisprudence as a public forum.) There would then be no more claims of the right to give speeches or hold rallies in those places. But given their existence, states cannot abrogate free speech in those fora.
   1092. Lassus Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4685414)
I'm still waiting for an argument why they wouldn't.

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but don't you have the burden of proof backwards here, legally? And simply debate-wise?
   1093. Mefisto Posted: April 13, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4685429)
Yes, and? Also, states could enforce segregation.


And yet corporations were protected. Go figure.

"I don't think that would happen" is not much of a legal argument.


It's not intended to be a legal argument. It's an argument based on (a) history (see above); and (b) political reality.

I'm certainly not a lawyer, but don't you have the burden of proof backwards here, legally?


One of many things David gets backward. The reason he won't make any argument on this point is that he can't. There is no argument to make.

Also, not sure why you're citing a case from 1946 for the proposition that the fourth amendment doesn't apply to businesses. See Marshall v. Barlow's.


That doesn't help you at all, putting aside the fact that it's on a different topic and can't support your parade of horribles. Under the cases I cited, the 4th A (and the 5th, for that matter) apply to corporations for certain purposes but not others. That's true for Marshall v Barlows too. But that very "pick and choose" process demonstrates (a) the incoherence of existing law on the subject; and (b) the error of your claim that corporations should get to exercise Constitutional rights without restrictions.*

*They shouldn't get them at all under my theory. Under your theory, they should get them all, though you haven't explained yet how to derive that result, nor how you can make the argument at all without giving corporations the right to vote and other absurdities.
   1094. tshipman Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4685437)
You are both falling prey to the first problem I identified in the previous paragraph and misconstruing Hobby Lobby's argument.

(1) You don't get to tell an RFRA plaintiff what his religious views are. If he says that his religion forbids or commands X, you don't get to say, "That's not true. Your religion doesn't say that." Whether you can find a priest or pastor to agree with him or you is not relevant; the courts can't resolve doctrinal disputes.


This is silly on its face. There are absolutely limits of religious expression that are expressed in common sense application. No one accepts that you have a right to opt out of medicare taxes because it's against your religion (Randism).

(2) Hobby Lobby's argument is that it is a sin to use certain forms of birth control², and that is therefore a sin to participate in someone else using those forms of birth control. If you eat pork (and you're Jewish), that's not my problem, halachically speaking. It's your transgression. But if you're Jewish and I supply you with pork to eat, then I am morally culpable. I can't facilitate your eating of pork. That's Hobby Lobby's argument: that facilitating someone else's sin is itself an independent sin. If they provide you with Plan B, then they're complicit and it violates their religious beliefs. And forcing someone to undertake an act that violates their religious beliefs indeed compromises their exercise of religion.


But money is fungible! Hobby Lobby's argument is silly because they are arguing that they can and should control how employees spend one type of compensation but not another. If Hobby Lobby doesn't want the moral culpability, their remedy is simple: supply employees with a flat credit to be used towards the exchange. A number of employers, like Target, have started doing this. They have no more moral culpability than by paying a salary used to purchase birth control.

Both of Hobby Lobby's arguments are ludicrous! Corporations are not capable of religious expression, and even if they had, their rights have not been infringed.

The state of conservative jurisprudence is sad. You're trying to tie yourself up in knots to somehow claim that corporations can have religious expression and that companies should be allowed to control how workers spend their compensation.
   1095. BDC Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4685443)
Maybe the implicit theory is that Hobby Lobby is a religion. Granted, its central cult practices involve the exchange and rearrangement of Chinese plastic flower picks, but that's not for us to judge.
   1096. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4685452)
Hobby Lobby is an anagram for "Bob, Holy Bob".
   1097. Joe Kehoskie Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4685461)
But money is fungible! Hobby Lobby's argument is silly because they are arguing that they can and should control how employees spend one type of compensation but not another. [...]

Both of Hobby Lobby's arguments are ludicrous! [...]

Why do you keep referring to health insurance as "one type of compensation," as if your preferred type of health insurance should be a requirement?

The "ludicrous" argument here is to say that it's fine not to offer health insurance at all, but not fine to offer health insurance that doesn't cover the morning-after pill. That's like arguing that employers should be able to give ham-and-cheese sandwiches to employees, but they should be banned from providing ham-only sandwiches.

***
That Business Insider link was a paraphrase:

Andy, saying, "We can repeal Obamacare because we've previously accomplished tougher goals" isn't, in any real-world sense, "comparing Obamacare to Nazi Germany." Regardless, the fact that this has dragged on for 24 hours only proves my point about Cruz being a better politician than Huckabee: Even if Cruz was comparing Obamacare to Nazi Germany, he didn't do so in a soundbite that could easily get used against him, as Huckabee did with his silly "America is less free than North Korea" comment, which is dumb even after accounting for the hyperbole.
   1098. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 13, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4685464)

The "ludicrous" argument here is to say that it's fine not to offer health insurance at all, but not fine to offer health insurance that doesn't cover the morning-after pill. That's like arguing that employers should be able to give ham-and-cheese sandwiches to employees, but they should be banned from providing ham-only sandwiches.


It's more like saying that employers can qualify for the sandwich tax break, but to do so, they have to offer sandwiches with both bread and two toppings, not just a packet of breadcrumbs.
   1099. tshipman Posted: April 13, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4685471)
Why do you keep referring to health insurance as "one type of compensation," as if your preferred type of health insurance should be a requirement?


Because employers have great flexibility in what they offer. Health Insurance is a form of compensation--you can receive health insurance, you can receive a fixed dollar amount to be used towards health insurance, or you could just receive extra money--dictated by the market.

The "ludicrous" argument here is to say that it's fine not to offer health insurance at all, but not fine to offer health insurance that doesn't cover the morning-after pill. That's like arguing that employers should be able to give ham-and-cheese sandwiches to employees, but they should be banned from providing ham-only sandwiches.


Health insurance has to be defined somehow, otherwise you could hand people a band-aid once a week and call it health insurance. Birth control is an eminently reasonable thing to include in health insurance--it has a near net-zero cost to insurers, provides a huge benefit to society and individuals, and is extremely popular. Again, you don't seem to have a problem with blood transfusions being included as part of what defines health insurance--that's much more offensive to a religious group than birth control.

If there was a law passed that somehow provided a ham-and-cheese mandate, then yeah, offering ham-only sandwiches would be in violation of that.
   1100. Morty Causa Posted: April 13, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4685473)
The "ludicrous" argument here is to say that it's fine not to offer health insurance at all, but not fine to offer health insurance that doesn't cover the morning-after pill. That's like arguing that employers should be able to give ham-and-cheese sandwiches to employees, but they should be banned from providing ham-only sandwiches.

If you can do the greater, then you should be able to do the lesser, is quibble in logic that has many exceptions in real life. For instance: that a woman can decide to have an abortion when she becomes pregnant, but if she decides to carry that fetus to term, she can be held responsible if her bheavior and habits harm it. So, if you quit drugging to have a child, then relapse some time during the gestation period, you might want to reopen an option you had closed.
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