Skip to main content

Pygmalion or Frankenstein's Monster?

I've been thinking about the ramifications of the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (Jan. 21, 2010), in which the Court gave life to the legal fiction of corporate entities by bestowing upon them the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. How will this turn out, not just in the electioneering context of the Citizens United case itself, but in the broader context of corporate activities? How will corporations use this precedent to shape their own futures and expand their rights/reach?

Will it be like the Roman myth of Pygmalion, with its happy ending of fruitfulness both for the creator and the created?

Or will it be more like that of Frankenstein, where Dr. Frankenstein gives life to a monster that, once unleashed, inevitably (and despite the monster's initial good intentions) destroys everything he holds dear? (Some might compare it to the legends of the Golem, but according to tradition, the Golem could not speak.)

My bet is that the proper literary analogy will turn out to be that of Pinocchio, except that when corporations lie, it will be their bank accounts and influence that grow.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades

It’s that time of year again. Law students across the country are poring over their class notes and supplements, putting the finishing touches on their outlines, and fueling their all-night study sessions with a combination of high-carb snacks and Java Monsters. This can mean only one thing: exam time is approaching.

If you’re looking for a brief but effective guide to improving your exam performance, the O’Quinn Law Library has the book for you. Alex Schimel’s Law School Exams: A Guide to Better Grades, now in its second edition, provides a clear and concise strategy for mastering the issue-spotting exams that determine the majority of your grade in most law school classes. Schimel finished second in his class at the University Of Miami School Of Law, where he taught a wildly popular exam workshop in his 2L and 3L years, and later returned to become Associate Director of the Academic Achievement Program. The first edition of his book was written shortly after he finished law school, …

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …