Thursday, August 16, 2012

Unequal Protection by Thom Hartmann

My notes from reading Hartmann's book.

1. He says that the wording in 14th amendment created a loophole. He continually states that rights are with people. Groups of people (like corporations) that can escape certain culpability like jail are offered privileges.
He acknowledges that we need a category to allow groups to enter into contracts etc.
2. Quote: The Constitution doesn't give us rights; it restrains government from infringing on rights we acquire at birth by virtue of being human beings.
3. What do you think of the railroad case? Delmas defended the tax against the railroad. Chief Justice Waite said that he believes the 14th amendment applies to corporations according to court reporter Davis. That was not part of the official opinion. 1886
Santa Clara v. Southern pacific railroad.
4. First National Bank of Boston v Bellotti. 1978
5. What do you think of the theory that Conkling and Bingham intentionally snuck in "persons" instead of natural persons into the 14th amendment.
6. Oddly enough, so far he is convincing me (probably not his goal) that groups of people need to be protected just like individual persons.
However, there needs to be a delineation. Groups of people can escape culpability better than a single natural person. I am thinking we do need a constitutional
amendment stating that the 14th amendment applies to individual natural people. However a group of people can't be unfairly disadvantaged but if a bribery charge or unethical behavior is brought to the table, someone needs to go to jail. But ....that has happened. Some of the Enron execs went to jail. And some people from the financial industry are going to jail.

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