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Ruben Ruiz

Custody Officer, LASD

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Can corporations really interfere with the health or our world communites? If so how and what should we do about it?

If corporations' bottom line is profits for it's share holders, is there a moral obligation on their part that those profits are not at the expense of any community or it's own employees? Take for example the biggest oil corporations that have destroyed thousands of acres of fetile forests and have caused damage to our oceans again and again at the expense of many communities for decades. All the while making record profits for it's share holders. And there are many other corporations that do and keep doing similar damage at the many communities detriment. Does any entity have the power to challenge such violations on the part of such negligent corporations? If not, why not? This is of course my personal observation and I am no expert but I am simply posing these questions for the sake of the benefit of the only planet we have. If the UN is not looking out for the planet's and it's inhabitants interes' then who should the world community turn to for help? I don't even hear any plea from our world religious leaders on these critical matter, do you? If I'm wrong to assume any or all of this, can you at least guide me and show me where I might be off mark? Thank you.

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  • Jan 31 2012: As I pointed out in a related discussion, corporations were created by Roman civil law and "baptized" int English cmmon law by the king of England(see Blackstne on corporations). Common law did not accept Roman law or civil law as an authority, but it DID adapt the corpratin as a useful tool, with the king;s regulation by scholars on the "King's Bench" which was the highest level of court authority at that time. Under E nglish common law, and ONLY by authority of the king, could a corporatio n be a "person". There is no such authority given to US government.

    In the US, cproprations were rejected by the founders of the Constitution, and Jefferson advocated that we destroy in its infancy the "aristocracy of the moneyed corporation". Corporations were NOT approved by the founders. When Madison, Wilson, and franklin tried to develop a federal corporation for "internal improvements" the congress quickly votd it down. Civil law was to have no authority over common law. Since corporations were produicts of civil law and christened or baptized into common law, the power to cntrol corporations was to be kept within state auithority, and there was no power to declare it a person, except by authority of the king, and that authority was rejected by the colonists. There is nothing in the onstitution granting corporations the status of "personhood", nor can there be, since no such authority was ever transferred from the king to any branch of state government.

    This means that the "due process" clause of the 5th and 14th amendments can not refer to corporations, nor grant protection of due process to corporations, since there is no authority whatever given to them as persons. What tis further means is that persons within communities have due process protection against corporate power, but this is ignored by SCOTUS.

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