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July 02, 2014

Dear Emptyheaded Left Wing Writers

Please stop saying that a corporation is a "fictitious person" as part of your case in chief against the Hobby Lobby decision.

For one thing, you sound stupid. Not because this is untrue, but rather because it is obviously true, and 90% of all literate people not only know "corporations are fictitious people" but in fact have known this since long before you apparently did.

You sound like 8 year olds who just learned a FunFact (TM) about koalas and can't stop repeating it. Didja know that koala bears are not in fact bears but odd creatures called "marsupials"?!!? Didja? Didja?!!?

Yes, we all knew that. In second grade. But Welcome to the World, I guess.

It's a big place. You'll want to take notes about it until you get your bearings.

Secondly, and here I fear I will lose you completely because this is going to get slightly abstract and logical, the fact that "corporations are fictitious persons" actually destroys your arguments, rather than strengthens them, which, if you'd bother to have read the Hobby Lobby case, which you have not and will not, ever, you'd already know.

See, a corporation is a fictitious person. It is a made-up designation, created by state law, to permit business concerns to live longer than the lifespan of a natural person.

It is a fictitious person. It is not a real person. Fictitious -- an imaginary construct of the law.

Think about what that means.

This means that in a closely-held corporation -- where five or fewer people control the majority of shares (and in fact usually control all of it) -- the "corporation" does not exist in any real way, except for its listing in the tax records of a state.

In a small closely-held corporation, "the corporation" only means "these five guys right here."

The Supreme Court did not acknowledge that corporations qua corporations (look up "qua" on your own time, idiots) have "religious freedoms." Rather, it recognized the obvious -- that in the case of a closely-held corporation, the corporation being a fictitious entity and all, an imposition of a duty on "the corporation" is in reality just an imposition of a duty on the five or fewer people (often one or two) who own it.

Thus, when we say the Hobby Lobby corporation must provide abortifacient drugs to its employees, this is precisely the same as laying this responsibility on the five or fewer individual persons (who definitely have the right to religious freedom) to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees.

Given that the corporation is a fictitious entity of no tangible presence (something you seem so delighted to have recently learned), forcing the corporation to provide abortions is precisely the same as forcing the family who owns Hobby Lobby to provide them.

You see? You see what your problem is here?

I mean, one of your problems. You have many, beginning with the facts that 1 you are not terribly well educated and 2 you seem to believe you are extremely well educated.

Now, in a very large corporation, what we call a "publicly traded" corporation, wherein many thousands (or even millions) of persons might have shares and thus ownership interests in this fictitious person, one could very easily make the case that each individual shareholder is so attenuated from actual control of the corporation that to impose a duty on the corporation does not implicate the individual shareholder at all, or implicates him so slightly, so trivially, that we can round down and simply say "Forcing Exxon to provide abortion drugs should not offend the conscience of Exxon's thousands of owners."

We could say in that case that an imposition on the corporation has no real implication for the individual owner. He would own, what, one thousand shares out of over ten million shares of the decision to provide abortion services?

A very diffuse responsibility indeed.

But you cannot make this claim when a family of four owns almost all of the stock in a corporation. In that case, the burdens placed on this fictitious entity are actually burdens on the people -- Unless you idiots want to make the case that this fictitious entity that has so mesmerized you actually has the tangible quality of being a real person whose actions do not implicate its real-person owners.

But then in that case you shouldn't keep saying it's a fictitious person-- you should be arguing it's close enough to a real person to be treated as such.

You should be arguing that a corporation is so close to real that we should say a burden on it means nothing at all to its owners-- who are just third-parties with barely anything at all to do with the real person being burdened. The real person being burdened (in this argument) is the corporation, which is basically a totes real person, and no other people are burdened at all.

The Supreme Court agrees with your actual statements about corporations being fictitious persons. In fact, they agree with it so much they based their decision on it.

They're saying "A corporation, being a fictitious construct with no real existence in the context of a closely-held corporation, is too slight and gossamer a thing to put any weight upon as far as distinguishing burdens placed on it and burdens placed on its owners."

By the way, idiots, partnerships (also small collections of people) have always had these rights to religious freedom, as they are obviously Just People and do not surrender their humanity by choosing to form a business partnership with another.

All the court did was say that a closely-held corporation is sufficiently similar to a partnership for the same rule to attach.

"Attach" means "apply" in this contest, dummies. I don't mean they glued the rule to them.

I know you'll all thank me for clearing up your latest stupidity so allow me to say, in salutation,

You're Welcome, Imbeciles,

Your Buddy,


PS-- "SCOTUSblog" is not the Supreme Court's personal web-log. It's just some guys who follow the court.

Please update your records, dum-dums.

PPS -- I don't know if "SCOTUSblog" is an incorporated fictitious person. You should get right on that yourselves, though. I'm sure that fact holds the key to this whole mystery.

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posted by Ace at 06:20 PM

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