Stepping on liberty in Liberty

By Sarason D. Liebler | Apr 20, 2012

At the Liberty town meeting on March 31 certain citizens of Liberty stepped on the liberties of other citizens of Liberty, under the guise of calling it a restoration of democracy. A citizen submitted a warrant item calling for the town to pass a resolution to “abolish corporate personhood and restore democracy.”

 

The speaker presenting the resolution blithely and inaccurately attempted to define a corporation based upon taking to task the current sitting Supreme Court for ruling that a corporation, as defined, was a legal “person” and thus had a right of free speech which, in a political and real world sense, meant that they could not be muzzled by limiting what they spend in supporting political candidates or positions.

 

The speaker then went on to explain, “you all know what this has done to our political process.”

 

A member of the audience objected. After first being ruled “out of order” by the moderator, he pointed out the definition of a corporation antedated the United States itself going back to English and Roman law and well before. He also objected that the presentor of the resolution was stating as fact numerous points that had no basis in fact.

 

Particularly, he pointed out, instead of the Republicans, who are being attacked for seeking the ruling, it is the Democrats who have collected more money in preparing for the 2012 elections. In fact, as pointed out in a Washington Post article by Ruth Marcus, this point had been adjudicated for the record when in 1803 then Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in Marbury v. Madison., “that it is the province of the judiciary to say what a law is.”

 

In due course the proponents of the resolution prevailed in the vote because since the early 1970’s that proponents of this type of reasoning and thinking, as is their right, pack the town meetings in this part of Waldo County.

 

So, why do I say they stepped on liberty in Liberty? Easy, this resolution, representing the thoughts of only the majority at the meeting will, in effect, cause a declaration to be sent forth implying that as opposed to just the majority at the meeting, all citizens of Liberty are together in their ignorance. After all a common definition of liberty is:

 

“the power of choosing, thinking, and acting for oneself; freedom from control or restriction.”

 

On the national level, just this past week, President Obama extended this topsy turvy thinking giving the Supreme Court a supreme warning that basically said that the court better not even think of declaring any or all of his heath care bill unconstitutional. He stated that such an action would be “unprecedented” with the non-elected judiciary blocking a law passed by elected officials. In other words, he latched on to a Tea Party theme of curbing the judiciary. Even after his staff attempted to blunt his pointed ire an Appeals Court judge in Houston, hearing another health care law case, demanded that the Justice Department attorney bring a written statement from the Department of Justice regarding the role of the judiciary in ruling on the constitutional aspects on any given piece of legislation.

 

So where does this leave us? First, I must point out, at Liberty town meeting the person who objected to the “resolution” was me. Partly I was just being ornery but I do get cranky when people present “facts” that simply are not factual. The resolution that was passed has no legal standing and will not mean anything to anyone. It is no different from past Liberty resolutions that banned nuclear power plants as well as genetically modified anything in the town.

 

After all they are just trying to keep up with Montville.

 

Sarason Liebler is a resident of Liberty.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mayme Trumble | Apr 30, 2012 06:42

Although a corporation is a very old and of European decent legal entity, the idea that it is a person is an American idea. The idea came from our 13th amendment in a court ruling based on that amendment. An excellent book on the history of this ruling can be downloaded from the internet. The book is called "Gangs of America" and is free at   http://www.gangsofamerica.com/ . Mr. Nace made a fortune publishing how to books on computers and as a hobby spent time trying to learn how it was that corporations gained so much power. It is a fascinating story and a tragic one as there seemed to be a little hanky-panky in the ruling.



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