Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Didn't He Leave?

Andrew Horning, former perpetual Libertarian candidate for, gee, any office in Indiana they needed a well-spoken guy to run for, doesn't quite get it when it comes to guns. Andy, it seems we hardly know ye.

Oh, he has a point, but A) Vermont's the only state I know of in which the courts have properly and consistently applied the constitutional protection of the right to keep and bear arms and B) employers should have no right to dictate to employees what legal product they may keep locked in their own car on the employer's lot -- but no court has ever taken the Wookiee-logical step of averring that corporations, as creations of the State, are as bound by Constitutional limits as is the State itself. So it takes a law to remind 'em.

7 comments:

D.W. Drang said...

Actually, I believe that Vermont's lack of laws governing concealed carry, etc., can lead to local abridgments of the Second Amendment. I have seen Montpelier cited as having local laws restricting carry. I could be wrong...

Geodkyt said...

There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with passing laws that ENFORCE Constututional protections.

Um, that's, like, the only kind of laws that we SHOULD have anyway, right?

But Wookie suiters seem to overlook that aspect in pursuit of pure utopian fantasies. . .

Ken said...

I read the linked piece. Sophistry? Protagoras, heal thyself.

WV "opeadsig": I think maybe he was Hygelac's copy editor.

Larry said...

Ummmm, what? Wow, you really blew past me there.

I thought I just read you say "Corporations are bound by Constitutional limits".

Musta had something in my eyes.

How perzackly would voluntary associations of individuals who have banded together for fun and profit be "creations of the state"? Does state recognition of a church "create" the church? Is it more or less real because a license and contract exist?

I wonder if my buddy and I should give up on this "friendship" thing, since our relationship wasn't created by the state with legalese. Come to think of it, I don't have any relationship to my siblings, cousins, or grandparents etc either, if that's the case. There's nothing explicitly recorded to that effect anyway.

Jeebus.

The only thing corporations were "created" for was to limit liability and therefore encourage investment. Oh, and because it's nice to collect taxes twice on the same activity, I suppose. They weren't created to bring the personal relationships of the individuals involved into the state sphere. We're miles in the wrong direction already with laws mandating the conditions under which individuals associate and do business, whether they be corporations, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietor.

Honestly, if any private entity wants to ban firearms from their property, that's their right. It should leave them vulnerable to civil penalties if employees or customers come to harm because of it, but that's when a demonstrable measurable harm would be detectable, and a civil penalty for damages is apropriate where prior restraint is not.

If your employer wants to fire you for having too much hair, smoking the ganja, for kissing the "wrong" gender, or for espousing politics they don't like, so be it. Employment is a *voluntary* relationship. It requires the consent of both parties.

If you're on your employer's property, your area is subject to that employer's scrutiny. Your person and personal effects remain your own business, unless you contract to allow physical searches. Your company email is subject to inspection. Your computer hard drive as well. If you contract with your employer to allow searches of your vehicle entering and leaving the company parking lot, then that too. If you don't want to be subject to restrictions on your vehicle, then don't park on company property. Or get a different job.

If it's a state agency that employs you, then Constitutional restrictions apply to that agency.

Just because it's our pet issue doesn't mean we get to over-rule other people's rights. And they have the right to set conditions under which they choose to associate with you.

(word verification: "dothe". As in: "The lady dothe o'er reach herself this time.")

Roberta X said...

Larry, corporations are creations of the State; the liability of the principals is limited by government fiat; they are given special protection not available to individuals and IMO, ought, therefore, to be as circumscribed in their actions in re individuals as is the State.

As happens, despite a contract not specifically allowing same, my person is not safe from searches by my employer, nor is my locked vehicle, at least according to the corporation. Nor am I -- by a stupid-lawyers quirk -- officially allowed to see the employee handbook. Off the record, I know the corporation has a strict "no weapons" policy. Since I'd just as soon not be fired for breaking a double-secret rule, I honor is anyway.

My relationship to my employer isn't personal; there's me on one side and Large Private Corporation on the other.

Larry said...

"As happens, despite a contract not specifically allowing same, my person is not safe from searches by my employer, nor is my locked vehicle, at least according to the corporation."

Roberta,

Do you really think that the corporation believes they can physically restrain and search you? That would certainly be unlawful restraint, perhaps amounting to kidnapping, false arrest, assault etc. Liekwise if you refuse permission to search your car. They may be able to call the police to do something like that, and with a sworn statement, perhaps the officer would search you, but I could do that without incorporating. No special priviliege there. In most states, they cannot use physical force; I can't physically restrain someone in my state or make a "citizen's arrest" unless I directly observed a felony and suspect that the person will be continuing on to harm someone else. Neither can a corporation, even if their mission is private security, let alone office adminsitrative work.

The legal limitations on liability also apply to individuals in many cases. The concept is not unique to corporations. Good Samaritan laws, etc. It's more categories of activity than category of individual, as far as I can tell.

In fact, corporations are far more likely to get punitive damages assessed than an individual (as in, "in excess of demonstrated damages"). Granted this is largely because of deeper pockets and psychological jury quirks that make corporations less sympathetic than individuals.

But government no more creates business entities than it does religious or personal associations. Acknowledging them officially and circumscribing the rules by which they interact falls short fo that. And arguably still goes too far.

Unless and until your employer can compel you by force of law to show up at work, it's a personal, but not private relationship. Unless "slaving away in the skunkworks" is literal. :)

Roberta X said...

The legal status of a corporation is supported only by the State, Larry. I don't work for "some guys, in collusion with a wealthy Ohio family," I work for XXX, a unit of the YYY corporation, part of the ZZZ group, each with neatly-interlocked boards of directors.

As for detaining, car-searches, etc.: my employer does, in fact, believe they have that right. The employee handbook I cannot officially see (but am nevertheless bound by) says just that. Do they want to test it, especially with the one group of contract employees who haven't read and signed it? Prolly not. But I'm not going to play chicken with them over it.

I'm lucky; the "some guys" are hardworking, talented and honest; the "wealthy Ohio family" is a decent bunch, in it for the long haul. But the corporation could be sold tomorrow, and my job with it.