For those of y’all who’ve been living in a cave for the past several years of Supreme Court foolishness, Citizens United is the name of the case where the Supreme Court decided that if corporations are people then they must have all the rights of people too.
This was profoundly stupid.
Among the effects that this has had is that corporations can now hold religious and political views, have expressive First Amendment rights that can’t be infringed and will probably get the vote as soon as the idea occurs to some idiot lawyer with time on his hands.
Not good; not good at all.
Fortunately, this is really easy to fix.
Although the federal government has decided that corporations must have all these rights because they’re people now, the states actually get to decide whether corporations are legally people since the states are where corporate charters come from. They just have to actually come right out and say it.
All it takes to eliminate the entire clusterfuck caused by the Citizens United decision is for a state to change its incorporation law to say explicitly that corporations chartered by that state are not legally people. Better still would be for the citizens of a state to pass a constitutional amendment saying that the state is not empowered to create legal people.
“People are born, not made.”
(Something like that; I’m sure a referendum’s PR people can do better.)
Sure, let them still charter corporations but those corporations wouldn’t be people. They’d be convenient organizational fictions designed to simplify paperwork instead, which is pretty much all they need to be.
And that, as they say, would be that. Since the federal decision is based on a presumption that states intend their chartered corporations to be legally people and therefore they must be treated as real people the whole damn Citizens United house of cards collapses.
(Admittedly, this would only fix the problem of corporations chartered or acting in that state. But at least the problem can be solved for any state that chooses to make this simple change.)
Seriously: why the hell has no one done this yet?