Corporations and equal protection clause Abstract The controversy about whether to consider the individuals and corporations in the same manner or not is still going on in America. There are many arguments in favor and against this issue. Many people in America believe that corporations are taking undue advantages because of the equal protection clause…
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In this paper, I will argue that the “equal protections” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was incorrectly applied to corporations, and doing so has had disastrous implications. It is absolutely clear that the equal protection clause was meant to protect individuals, not corporations, from unequal treatment by states. Corporations and equal protection clause Many people are shocked when they first learn that corporations are considered legal persons, entitled to the same rights as the average citizen. Starting with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co., the power of corporations has increased exponentially. Subsequent to Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. in 1886, corporations were consistently granted greater power by the Supreme Court through the equal protection clause. “Equal protection as a legal concept is the idea that individuals should be treated in the same manner as other individuals in similar circumstances”(Equal protection, n. d). However, the courts adopted different standards while dealing with equal protection clauses with respect to individuals and corporations, which include strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, and the rational basis test etc. This is purely because of the rise of corporate power. Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 118 U.S. ...
The above right was already given to the individuals and Southern Pacific Railroad Company argued that they also have the same right just like the individuals and they refused to pay taxes under the new legislature. Southern Pacific Railroad Company sought protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. One of the points made and discussed at length in the brief of counsel for defendants in error was that "corporations are persons within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States." Before argument, MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE said: "The Court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which forbids a state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does "(SANTA CLARA COUNTY V. SOUTHERN PACIFIC R. CO., 118 U. S. 394 (1886), 2011). In other words, court upheld the arguments of Southern Pacific Railroad Company and declared its verdict in favor of the company. Organizations or corporations are entities which might be created for the purpose of doing business making profits. They are doing so at the expense of the interests of the people or the individuals. In other words, corporations are exploiting the community resources for making profits and it is their duty to pay tax to the government for such exploitation of natural resources. Governments have the moral and legal responsibility of working for the interests of the individuals. Individuals have limited capacity to exploit the natural resources compared to the abilities of corporation.
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