Tag Archives: Supreme Court

120 years of American law based on an error

9 Oct

We speak with Thom Hartmann, author of “Unequal Protection” about how a 19th-century court reporter changed the course of corporate law.

Q: Thom, at a screening of [This Land is Your Land] in New York you told the audience afterwards that while researching your book, you discovered that corporations were given the rights of persons due to an error in an 1886 Supreme Court case. Your discovery of this “error” really interested us.

TH: After the fact, I discovered that it wasn’t a unique discovery. That Howard J. Graham had discovered it some years earlier and I called Richard Grossman all excited. And he said, “Oh you hadn’t read Everyman’s Constitution?”

Q: Don’t you hate when that happens?

TH: Yes, and it took me the better part of a year to find a copy of the book. As far as I know there’s not a single copy of it for sale in the United States, it’s been out of print since the ’70s, or the ’60s.

Q: And nobody else talked about this? Continue reading

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This Land is Your Land until Pfizer comes to town

13 Jan

UPDATE: On June 23, 2005, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the city of New London (Kelo v. New London), allowing local governments to seize people’s homes and businesses for private economic development. This decision has enormous implications for homeowners across the U.S.

Earlier in June, we spoke with New Londoner Matt Dery. Along with 100 other residents, Matt was fighting to keep his long-time home after he was told that he and his family would be forced out to make way for private development by the Pfizer Corporation. The city of New London claimed it was exercising the power of eminent domain.

Q: Matt, tell us what’s happening with your home. When did you first know there was a ‘situation’ and what’s been happening lately? Continue reading