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The Citizen and the Court: From Dred Scott to Citizens United


The Citizen and the Court: From Dred Scott to Citizens United

Christopher Brauchli

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. . . .
— Emma Lazarus, Inscription for the Statue of Liberty


Residing in the Bible Belt, too often I endure exhortations of "the word of God" as if Bibles, in general, were not the product of men of limited cognitive understanding and rewritten countless times.

Similarly, with Supreme Court justices GUILTY of such morally unsound decisions, one asks if this idea of "obeying the law" makes sense at all?

Look at the drug laws. One can grow and smoke pot in one state, but not another.

Sometimes when I have free time, I watch Unsolved Mysteries and crime shows and too often one learns that a serial killer or rapist was let out after 3-6 years in prison when their original crime deserved FAR less leniency. My response is that any judges that allowed these monsters out with virtual slaps on the wrist are co-conspirators in their future crimes.

The criminal-justice system in the U.S.A today SERVES corporations. For instance: the ridiculous War on Drugs serves as a pretext for incarcerating a larger percentage of civilians than is the case in any other nation and it not only makes prison-building corporations rich, it also sets up a massive infrastructure that includes law enforcement, judges, undercover agents, lawyers, and bail bondsmen.

It's one of MANY travesties... like today's version of Terminator wannabe cops letting loose on unarmed Black kids. Just diabolical!

As the saying goes, "Who guards the guards?" and who can check-balance the unjust decisions of a Supreme Court full of pro-corporate, punishing Inquisitors? This is a court that stood mum when Wars of Aggression were executed on the basis of FABRICATED "evidence," and vast sums of money were shifted from the working class to the rich who then continued to gamble it all away on their Wall-St. casino tables... oh, and it also stood mum when TORTURE was re-introduced into the American "foreign affairs" playbook.



Citizens United works in representative government, not in grassroots democracy.


The WOD is a conservative gimmick to keep minorities disenfranchised, unable to vote for liberals and progressives.


I certainly think the birthright citizenship part, which was only intended to grant citizenship to ex-slaves born here, should be revoked.

My kids were born in Germany and I registered their births at the Standesamt, but they didn't get automatic citizenship. They would have had to live there and participate in the life of the nation for some number of years beginning at a certain age (I think it was 5 years beginning at age 18, but I can't now remember).


By the same logic the Roberts court uses, shouldn't corporations also be held liable for criminal acts, taxed as persons are taxed? It seems that the Supreme Court's conservative majority wants to extend the political benefits of personhood but not the liabilities!


I have been advocating and hoping for a Grass Roots driven Constitutional Amendment for years. All that would have to be done is have a Constitutional law expert or committee thereof (but not BO) write it so it would pass legal muster. The definition of "free speech" could be legally redefined to uninclude campaign contribution, the hopelessly outdated and egregiously undemocratic Electoral College could be done away with seeing to it that presidents were elected by popular vote. There are surely some other issues, like mandating banking transparency. It wouldn't need a whole big complicated national organization to turn it into a project that becomes a movement. Everybody could work on it their own way.


The We the People Amendment is now before Congress. It states that only natural persons are entitled to Constitutional rights and that money is not protected political speech and shall be regulated in campaigns.

When corporations need liability protection, they claim their corporate status, and when they want to change laws (for the benefit of their bottom lines), they claim their personhood status. Corporations have become super-citizens with more rights and privileges than living breathing human beings have.

Besides First Amendment rights to free speech, corporations recently received religious rights as well. Corporations have also acquired other Constitutional rights:

  • 4th Amendment Search and Seizure rights.
  • 5th Amendment Takings, Double Jeopardy and Due Process corporate rights.
  • 14th Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection corporate rights.
  • Commerce Clause-related corporate rights.
  • Contracts Clause-related corporate rights.

For our own survival, corporations must be recognized for what they are--legal fictions, not legal persons, and must be boxed into the economic sphere, where they belong.

Governing in a working democracy is done by people--not corporations. Sign the petition in support of the We the People Amendment.


And for the 150 year long history of how that bulleted list above came to pass, read "Gangs of America" by Ted Nace!