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(Mother Jones)   The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision might have inadvertently pierced the "corporate veil" and made it easier for the owners of a corporation to be personally sued for the corporation's debts and other responsibilities   (motherjones.com) divider line 158
    More: Amusing, Hobby Lobby, corporate law, Alito  
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4987 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Jul 2014 at 7:40 AM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-03 09:20:31 PM  

wesmon: Lost Thought 00: Alphax: Lost Thought 00: The only way to hold them responsible is with the business end of a gun

That's not going to help any.  Any one of them can call up a dozen law enforcement agencies, and some will have mercs on speed dial.

There are more of us than there are of them. Many of us will die. All of them will die.

Give it some time. Your law enforcement and security guards are all working class. Who are they gonna side with when it all comes down?


The one who are paying their salaries and affording them a comfortable lifestyle.
 
2014-07-04 06:48:28 AM  
Interesting argument.

Of course it will keep lots of lawyers employed for years.
 
2014-07-04 07:37:33 AM  
I think it's a stretch...but I'm down with anything that will hold corporations responsible while reducing their power.
 
2014-07-04 07:42:11 AM  
Since the Supreme Court would ultimately get the final say on the legality of this, then ultimately, no, that's not going to happen. Supreme Court decisions do not need to be logical or consistent to be law.
 
2014-07-04 07:44:27 AM  
Corporate immunity!

It's just been revoked.
 
2014-07-04 07:45:10 AM  
Oh, I doubt that'll be allowed.  Corporations will demand maximum power and profits, and not a shred of responsibility for their actions, and their local judicial servants will give it to them.
 
2014-07-04 07:48:34 AM  
"The United States is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced." - Frank Zappa

Steve Zodiac: Since the Supreme Court would ultimately get the final say on the legality of this, then ultimately, no, that's not going to happen. Supreme Court decisions do not need to be logical or consistent to be law.


Linda Ellerbee had something to say on the subject too as I recall.
 
2014-07-04 07:55:10 AM  
Well, first you've got Delaware, whose state economy basically orbits around providing legal structures by which those who run corporations can act with impunity and avoid liability to the maximum possible degree, to the extent that their Court of Chancery and legislature have made piercing the veil practically impossible.  And then you have the Republican Party, whose relevance to the argument really needs no explanation.  So I'm not holding my breath.
 
2014-07-04 07:57:30 AM  

Steve Zodiac: Since the Supreme Court would ultimately get the final say on the legality of this, then ultimately, no, that's not going to happen. Supreme Court decisions do not need to be logical or consistent to be law.


Exactly. The law in this country is a joke and they can interpret it any way they want to serve their needs.

It is even worse in the lower courts. Stealing is wrong for the crackhead who broke into a store but it is fine for the multimillionaire brokers. Murder is wrong for the gang-banger but it is fine for the state and federal government. Even child-molestation is horrible when some poor farker does it but it can be excused when a DuPont heir is guilty of it.
 
2014-07-04 07:59:17 AM  

Wyalt Derp: Corporate immunity!

It's just been revoked.


www.weirdir.com

If there is actually some veil that's been pierced, then you can count on Congress to fix it right away. They might not be able to do anything else worthwhile, ever, but defending the sacredness of Corporate People is a top priority.
 
2014-07-04 07:59:51 AM  
I very much doubt that. In fact, if anything, it may be the opposite result. The Supreme Court has held that federal law contemplates an incorporated entity sharing personal traits of its ownership as part and parcel of its existence.
 
2014-07-04 07:59:57 AM  

Alphax: Oh, I doubt that'll be allowed.  Corporations will demand maximum power and profits, and not a shred of responsibility for their actions, and their local judicial servants will give it to them.


So you're saying privative the profits and socialize the losses?
 
m00
2014-07-04 08:05:46 AM  

FnkyTwn: Wyalt Derp: Corporate immunity!

It's just been revoked.

[www.weirdir.com image 468x199]

If there is actually some veil that's been pierced, then you can count on Congress to fix it right away. They might not be able to do anything else worthwhile, ever, but defending the sacredness of Corporate People is a top priority.


Well, to be fair a Corporate Person can donate way more cash than the other kind.  Which is why Corporate Welfare, and basing foreign policy (well, all policy) on their economic interests (well, all interests) is so crucial.
 
2014-07-04 08:06:07 AM  
This sounds like a great way to stick it to The Man and exact payment for his excesses until you realize that your assumptions about business owners don't reflect the vast majority of corporations.
 
m00
2014-07-04 08:09:08 AM  
Actually, what I want to know is that if a Corporation has a religious moral objection to abortion, and doesn't have the follow the law and provide legally mandated healthcare benefits for oral contraception, then if I also have a religious moral objection to abortion, why do I have to follow the law and pay taxes when some of those taxes go to subsidizing Obamacare?
 
2014-07-04 08:11:40 AM  
I have sincere beliefs that I don't want to be personally sued.
 
2014-07-04 08:12:06 AM  

GoldSpider: This sounds like a great way to stick it to The Man and exact payment for his excesses until you realize that your assumptions about business owners don't reflect the vast majority of corporations.


Which assumptions would those be?
 
2014-07-04 08:17:10 AM  

m00: if I also have a religious moral objection to abortion


About 80% of pregnancies are spontaneously aborted in the first month after conception.  If you have a genuine objection to abortion, you should be madly in favor of contraception devices and medication.
 
2014-07-04 08:17:27 AM  
I realize it's the 4th of July and all, but isn't this situation a great example of a moment where it'd be very useful to have an apolitical final arbiter who could look at all this nonsense and simply say 'No'?

I trust Elizabeth Windsor far more that I would trust the Roberts court.
 
2014-07-04 08:18:22 AM  
When human adults have to start analyzing the way things make a corporation feel, and if it has the same moral compass as its owners, perhaps we can take a big step back and say, "Well, f*ck. That got out of control, huh?"
 
2014-07-04 08:19:39 AM  

wesmon: GoldSpider: This sounds like a great way to stick it to The Man and exact payment for his excesses until you realize that your assumptions about business owners don't reflect the vast majority of corporations.

Which assumptions would those be?


That every business owner is Scrooge McDuck for starters.
 
2014-07-04 08:21:29 AM  
I'd be surprised if the courts allowed anyone to reverse the polarity of corporate benefits and responsibilities, but the argument has merit.
 
2014-07-04 08:22:18 AM  
Now someone is going to sue the hell out of Chik-Fil-A.
 
2014-07-04 08:22:26 AM  

wesmon: Even child-molestation is horrible when some poor farker does it but it can be excused when a DuPont heir is guilty of it.


Now now, the judge was just looking out for the DuPont molester's best interests, not excusing his pederasty. She indicated that he "wouldn't thrive" in prison, and therefore shouldn't be sent there. It's really the law that's to blame in mandating that sentencing decisions give primacy to molesters' best interests.
 
2014-07-04 08:24:08 AM  

GoldSpider: That every business owner is Scrooge McDuck for starters.

 Skinnyhead does it better.
 
2014-07-04 08:24:08 AM  
It's an interesting argument, but it would never be accepted by this court.

Alito wrote the decision specifically limiting the piercing of the veil to:
1. companies with mainstream Christian religious beliefs and
2. beliefs that only deal with questions of women's sexuality.

As soon as a case come up where the Hobby Lobby decision might harm job creators, men, or might benefit members of the large Christian denominations they'll magically come up with some excuse why the exact same reasoning that won in Hobby Lobby wouldn't win in the new case.
 
2014-07-04 08:25:03 AM  
Conservatives not thinking through the consequences of their decision?  Color me shocked!

("Shocked" is definitely a color -- soft of a bolder chartreuse.)
 
2014-07-04 08:31:45 AM  

Karac: As soon as a case come up where the Hobby Lobby decision might harm job creators, men, or might benefit members of the large Christian denominations


Did you misphrase this? Or are you suggesting Alito wants to persecute large Christian denominations? I'm just trying to get a handle on your angle here.
 
2014-07-04 08:32:54 AM  

Summoner101: Alphax: Oh, I doubt that'll be allowed.  Corporations will demand maximum power and profits, and not a shred of responsibility for their actions, and their local judicial servants will give it to them.

So you're saying privative the profits and socialize the losses?


(Talking Heads)  Same as it ever was..
 
2014-07-04 08:40:22 AM  
I don't but the argument that the case has "pierced the veil". The shareholders have instructed the management to apply a corporate policy. Majority shareholders can do that so long as it doesn't disadvantage the minority shareholders.

Fin.

There are many reasons to dislike the hobby lobby decision, but this argument isn't a good one.
 
2014-07-04 08:48:14 AM  

syrynxx: m00: if I also have a religious moral objection to abortion

About 80% of pregnancies are spontaneously aborted in the first month after conception.  If you have a genuine objection to abortion, you should be madly in favor of contraception devices and medication.


Those abortions are mandated by God, and are therefore not tragic but just part of the plan.

The issue with abortions and even abortifacients is simply this-humans are trying to take over God's job, which is deciding what babies to kill.
 
2014-07-04 08:53:36 AM  
Excellent.

I got a lot of issues with Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Retail.
 
2014-07-04 08:54:00 AM  

opiumpoopy: I don't but the argument that the case has "pierced the veil". The shareholders have instructed the management to apply a corporate policy. Majority shareholders can do that so long as it doesn't disadvantage the minority shareholders.

Fin.

There are many reasons to dislike the hobby lobby decision, but this argument isn't a good one.


Yeah, no. That's not at all what happened.
 
2014-07-04 08:59:46 AM  
See, how it works is corporations are people that are made of many people

/so basically they're Voltron
//and you don't wanna mess with Voltron
 
2014-07-04 09:01:39 AM  
By letting Hobby Lobby's owners assert their personal religious rights over an entire corporation, the Supreme Court has poked a major hole in the veil. In other words, if a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens. If religious shareholders can do it, why can't creditors and government regulators pierce the corporate veil in the other direction?

No, not really.  I mean not any more often than this already happen, of course.

As far as debt goes, it is entirely up to the lender whether or not they want to lend to the corporation or to individuals.  Small businesses almost always have to borrow on the credit of the owner.  If they choose to lend to a corporate entity, that's up to them.

As far as regulations, it isn't clear what TFA thinks has changed.  The ruling in question would have been identical if Hobby Lobby was a sole proprietorship.
 
2014-07-04 09:01:42 AM  
The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision might have inadvertently pierced the "corporate veil" and made it easier for the owners of a corporation to be personally sued for the corporation's debts and other responsibilities

...says a freelance writer with no readily apparent legal credentials in the online edition of that frequently-cited legal authority, Mother Jones magazine.
 
2014-07-04 09:03:28 AM  

Eddie Barzoom: Those abortions are mandated by God, and are therefore not tragic but just part of the plan.


Rats, I forgot that everything that happens is part of God's Plan.  I don't understand it, but I believe it.
 
2014-07-04 09:05:44 AM  
The brief is very interesting reading. The last section about subterfuge and its granting competitive advantage to one corporation over others is wonderful.
 
2014-07-04 09:12:17 AM  
Not wanting to pay for birth control?  Then the corporation is totally a reflection of its owners' beliefs and morality.

Kill a few thousand people in some third world country?  The corporation suddenly has nothing to with its owners.
 
2014-07-04 09:13:01 AM  
Wait no, that's a terrible idea.

The ENTIRE POINT of a limited-liability corporation is that the stuff I put into it is (barring major issues) completely separate from the stuff I don't.   So when I hand some random startup $2 Million in seed money and they fark up, they can't come after the REST of my crap because they farked up.

I mean, I'm out the $2 Million, which sucks, but I knew that was a possibility probability going in.


Remember, the GOAL is to get the rich farkers to get off their giant piles of gold and get them to dump it into the rest of the economy because then they're investing it in cool things (Or they're investing it in not-so-cool things, which eventually means that they're no longer rich, and you've solved that particular problem) and we get cool things out of it.  And this is one of the tricks you use to do it. fark, it's practically THE trick.

/Seriously, one of the things that kicked off the Industrial Revolution was the Glorious Revolution of 1688, because then the rich Protestant nobles didn't have to worry about the Catholic king stealing all of their shiat.
//And there's a couple of academic papers pointing out the relationship between rhetoric and growth.  The less "fark the rich, we might come to steal your stuff one day" rhetoric is going on, the faster the economy grows.  Not just actions, but rhetoric.  Because they're investing instead of hiding or hoarding in preemption of your actions.
 
2014-07-04 09:16:24 AM  
Maybe, if the SCOTUS wasn't controlled by pro-corporatist Justices who would readily find some way to set aside such arguments.
 
2014-07-04 09:21:47 AM  
We really need another president like Andrew Jackson.

The reality is that the Supreme Court was never given the power that they have in the Constitution. They gave themselves that power in the early 19th century.

Andrew Jackson actually called them on that supposed power when he was president. The court ruled for the Native Americans in Worcester vs. Georgia and Jackson just laughed at them and asked "how are you going to enforce this?"

Jackson was totally right to shoot down the supposed imperial power of the Supreme Court, even though it was in a case where he did a whole lot of wrong and initiated the Trail of Tears.

The Supreme Court was the worst thing our founding fathers thought up. They didn't envision it becoming the final say in our law but the vague way the Constitution was written allowed the court to assert Imperial power. Now we have judges for life forcing their will upon the American public with no recourse.

I do acknowledge all the good the court has done, especially in the Civil Rights era, but the bottom line is that it is an undemocratic institution and should be abolished.
 
2014-07-04 09:26:45 AM  

m00: Actually, what I want to know is that if a Corporation has a religious moral objection to abortion, and doesn't have the follow the law and provide legally mandated healthcare benefits for oral contraception, then if I also have a religious moral objection to abortion, why do I have to follow the law and pay taxes when some of those taxes go to subsidizing Obamacare?


Because you didn't buy 5 judges before you went and got yourself knocked up. I'm pretty sure Hobby Lobby's lawyers made sure they had a good chance at winning this case before they filed or even before the corporate policy was announced.
 
2014-07-04 09:27:57 AM  

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: m00: Actually, what I want to know is that if a Corporation has a religious moral objection to abortion, and doesn't have the follow the law and provide legally mandated healthcare benefits for oral contraception, then if I also have a religious moral objection to abortion, why do I have to follow the law and pay taxes when some of those taxes go to subsidizing Obamacare?

Because you didn't buy 5 judges before you went and got yourself knocked up. I'm pretty sure Hobby Lobby's lawyers made sure they had a good chance at winning this case before they filed or even before the corporate policy was announced.


Also the Hyde amendment exists.
 
2014-07-04 09:28:30 AM  
wesmon:The reality is that the Supreme Court was never given the power that they have in the Constitution. They gave themselves that power in the early 19th century.
...
but the bottom line is that it is an undemocratic institution and should be abolished.


So what do you think the purpose of the court was, then, if you think that adjudicating conflicts in law wasn't it?

How do you think anything would work if we abolished the entire legal system, as you appear to want?
 
2014-07-04 09:31:07 AM  
There was a glitch in the Matrix.
 
2014-07-04 09:33:01 AM  

BMFPitt: wesmon:The reality is that the Supreme Court was never given the power that they have in the Constitution. They gave themselves that power in the early 19th century.
...
but the bottom line is that it is an undemocratic institution and should be abolished.

So what do you think the purpose of the court was, then, if you think that adjudicating conflicts in law wasn't it?

How do you think anything would work if we abolished the entire legal system, as you appear to want?


Who said anything about abolishing the legal system? The Federal courts were in place to take care of any problems. The Supreme Court basically had no real role until they decided to give themselves the power of ultimate judge. And that is where the trouble started.
 
2014-07-04 09:33:42 AM  

neenerist: GoldSpider: That every business owner is Scrooge McDuck for starters.
 Skinnyhead does it better.


So that's your argument for how weakening owner liability protection will only affect RICH owners of BIG corporations?
 
2014-07-04 09:38:54 AM  

syrynxx: Lost Thought 00: The only way to hold them responsible is with the business end of a gun

No, dumbass, it's called 'voting'.  When you cast a vote for the President Lead Corporate Whore of the United States, you're also casting a vote for his opinions as to who he would nominate as a Supreme Court justice.  When you cast a vote for a Senator Secondary Corporate Whore, you cast a vote for who they would approve or reject as a SCOTUS nominee.



/Updated to fit the times
 
2014-07-04 09:41:45 AM  

wesmon: Who said anything about abolishing the legal system? The Federal courts were in place to take care of any problems. The Supreme Court basically had no real role until they decided to give themselves the power of ultimate judge. And that is where the trouble started.


Well you complain that the Supreme Court has no power in the Constitution, but the only thing it says about any other court is that they are subordinate to the Supreme Court.

So are you looking to amend the Constitution to make it so we have a bunch of conflicting legal districts with no way to resolve?  What I'd your idea of how that shoud work?
 
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