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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Response to “Performance art politics”

I am saddened that The Aggie is perpetuating a widespread falsehood regarding the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC. Mr. Narayan stated in his Feb. 8 column “Performance art politics” that “If you’ve heard that corporations are people, this is the case that made that so.” That is simply not true.

Corporate personhood has existed since the early 19th century.  Prior to 1948, the very first section of the first Title of the United States Code stated, “In determining the meaning of any Act or resolution of Congress … the word ‘person’ may extend and be applied to partnerships and corporations.” Since 1951 it has included “corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals.”

In 1963, NAACP v. Button extended freedom of speech in the political arena to corporations. In 1976, Buckley v. Valeo held that money is speech in political campaigns. Citizens United has its own share of problems, and we desperately need campaign finance reform, but relying on inaccurate information undermines this legitimate viewpoint. Let’s stick to the facts in this dialogue. Please read the case and stop spreading this falsehood.

Tom Garberson
King Hall, Class of 2009
UC Davis, Class of 2006


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