Home > brilliant legal thinking, Fallacies, politics > A Little More on Hobby Lobby

A Little More on Hobby Lobby

My last post didn’t really address the issue I’d intended.  How is the thinking of the corporate person-hood boosters so muddled?

As I argued, proponents are conflating the corporations with their owners.   I argued that that is wrong, not that its wrong-headed and muddled… but it IS wrong-headed and muddled!

OK.   So, here’s the point.   There are only two possibilities:

  1. Corporations are people and therefore distinct from their owners/managers.  The manager/owner is not the same person as the corporation so that when the so-called corporate veil is pulled back, that manager/owner’s preferences and rights must be kept separate and distinct from the preferences and rights of the corporation, which are not the same.
  2. Corporations are not people and therefore are distinct from their owners/managers.  The manager/owner is definitely a person, the lack of person-hood makes clear that the manager/owner has rights the corporation does not.

There is no other possibility because the corporation, whatever you think about its person-hood, is a distinct entity by its very nature.  The very thing the invention of the institution of corporate law solves is the separation of the corporation’s ownership and actions from those of the owner/manager.

Get that?  The point of the corporation is that it is a distinct entity and that’s the true purpose of corporate person-hood… although I’d certainly argue that the actual purpose of the corporate person-hood is currently to troll the regulatory state and transfer regulatory authority from the legislature to the supreme court.

But that’s not what we’re talking about!  Being a separate entity rules out the possibility that the religious views of the owner/managers are identical to the corporations!

The proponents of person-hood have to choose one or the other: stop conflating the owner/manager with the institution or abandon person-hood.  Forget about the other rights.   That’s the real muddle at the center of this legal mess.

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