The Phaserl


“Corporations Are NOT People”: A Lawyer’s Book About Fighting Back Against Corporate Personhood

by Eleanor Goldfield, OCCUPY:

The title says it all: Corporations Are Not People. And Jeff Clements is in a position to know. During his tenure at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, Clements was involved in a number of cases that saw corporations eager to gain all the rights of a person without holding the responsibility of a person. Clements highlights one such case in his new book, involving a cigarette company.

“The law that we worked on was intended to stop the kind of targeting practices they were doing around middle schools and playgrounds,” Clements explains. “Literally, part of their marketing included how to addict middle school kids, young teenagers.”

In a trend that is now familiar in what Clements refers to as the “Second Gilded Age,” the law was struck down by the Supreme Court, suggesting that “the free speech rights of the cigarette corporation had been violated by limiting their advertising around school yards.”

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