Letter: That Strange Court Ruling

To the Editor:

I wonder how many Valley News readers are aware that there is actually a national campaign to undo that strange Supreme Court ruling specifying money is not property but speech and that corporations are pretty much like any citizen.

Well, there is just such a movement. Sixteen states, in fact, have supported enacting a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Oh, most of us are aware that Mitt Romney — that sage of the Grand Old Party –– affirmed the Supreme Court ruling during his run for the White House by stating with unequivocal conviction that “corporations are people.” If our highest court –– and Mitt Romney — have accurately portrayed a corporation as a living, breathing organism, did the affirming justices glean their insight from no less a sage than William Shakespeare? Specifically, take note of that passage from The Merchant of Venice where Shylock, on trial for his life, asked another court, “Hath not a corporation eyes? Hath not a corporation hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? ... If you prick a corporation, does it not bleed? If you tickle a corporation, does it not laugh?”

Of course, Shakespeare did not use the word “corporation” in that plea for mercy, but clearly our Supreme Court justices knew exactly what he meant.

Herewith, then, are the 16 states that have formally called for undoing the notion that corporations bleed and laugh just like us: Oregon, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

Can anyone from around these parts spot the New England state that is conspicuously missing? Sigh ...

Tom Brody