submitted by Gabrielle Price
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations cannot be sued for the torture under the Torture Victim Protection Act.
The decision came in the case of Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and became a U.S. citizen. In 1995, while on a visit to his home village on the West Bank, he was taken into custody by Palestinian Authority intelligence officers; in the following days, he was allegedly imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The U.S. State Department issued a report classifying Rahim's death as an extra-judicial killing, while in the custody of the Palestinian Authority.
Rahim's American family, filed suit against the Palestinian Authority and the PLO under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes lawsuits against "individuals" who commit acts of torture. The family argued that Congress intended the word "individual" to cover organizations.
But Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the court, rejected that argument as "unpersuasive."
"No one, we hazard to guess, refers in normal parlance to an organization as an 'individual,'" Sotomayor said, and there was no indication that Congress intended otherwise.
Hmm, so organizations [i.e. corporations] are NOT individuals, Judge Sotomayor? You might want to tell Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney this bit of news -- as well as the very well organized movement called Move to Amend, oh, and several states, including more recently Vermont who have already moved to amend the constitution which states that corporations are indeed, considered individuals.
The notorious 1886 case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad is just one in a long series of Supreme Court cases that entrenched "corporate personhood" in law. Justices since have struck down hundreds of local, state and federal laws enacted to protect people from corporate harm based on this illegitimate premise. Armed with these "rights," corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, natural assets, politicians, even judges and the law.
The American people roundly reject this archaic notion and we are glad to hear that Judge Sotomayor agrees with us -- or does she? This is a mixed message and one that must be clarified by working to overturn one of the oldest Supreme Court rulings. One that clearly only serves to marginalize the rights of We The People, including the soldiers who take a blood oath to protect the Constitution -- NOT CORPORATIONS OR ORGANIZATIONS.
This is dangerous territory -- not only does this archaic law state that corporations are people, giving the 1% free reign to spend and lobby for their own interests, now according to Judge Sotomayor, a corporation could torture a REAL individual. And the Supreme Court just gave them a 'get out of jail free card' for doing so.
Keep this in mind when you think of the banks and corporations who have built the prison industrial complex and indefinite detention under the NDAA. George Orwell is speaking to us from the grave -- and we had better listen -- and make our elected officials listen when the people say, "WE will not compromise."
OCCUPY the Move to Amend movement that is growing across the country -- sign the petition, then start a ballot initiative in your state before November if your state has not yet done so.
Find the rest of the NPR article here: Organizations Can't Be Sued For Torture, High Court Rules