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As a noun, a people permanently occupying a fixed territory bound together by common habits and custom into one body politic exercising, through the medium of an organized government, independent sovereignty and control over all persons and things within its boundaries, capable of making war and peace and of entering into international relations with other states. The section of territory occupied by one of the United States. The people of a state, in their collective capacity, considered as the party wronged by a criminal deed; the public; as in the title of a case, "The State v. A. B." The circumstances or condition of a being or thing at a given time.
Throughout the nation's history, the states have had -- and still have -- the authority to give birth to a corporation, by granting a corporate charter, and to impose the death penalty on a corporate wrongdoer by revoking its charter. Activist-author Richard Grossman points out that in 1890, for example, New York's highest court revoked the charter of the North River Sugar Refining Corporation -- referring to the judgment explicitly as one of ''corporate death.'' It was once widely understood that the states had this power. ''New York, Ohio, Michigan and Nebraska revoked the charters of oil, match, sugar and whiskey trusts'' in the 1800s, Grossman wrote in the pamphlet, ''Taking Care of Business: Citizenship and the Charter of Incorporation,'' co-authored with Frank Adams.
In accordance with the strict legislative control exercised over corporations who sought the privilege of incorporation and following in the path of centuries of English commonlaw (case made law), the states codified (made into written law) the power to revoke the charters of corporations who "misused" or "abused" their charter powers. The English foundation for these statutes can be traced to the theory of quo warranto, which literally means that the state is asking the corporation, "By which grant of right do you exercise the powers you are exercising?" The extensive history of quo warranto theory to revoke charters adds credence to its contemporary use.
One of the problems is that the quo warranto statutes give only the Attorney General the power to bring a corporate charter revocation action. Many times, the state statute gives the Attorney General the discretion to bring such an action. The language is usually couched as "the Attorney General may" initiate proceedings to revoke the corporation's charter. This "may" is very difficult for citizens to enforce because it grants broad discretion to the Attorney General that the courts are reluctant to enforce. To attempt to force the A.G. to take action in this situation is a losing proposition unless a massive citizen movement can be launched that convinces him/her that his/her political future rests upon his/her decision to take action against the corporation.
Although state and federal courts have consistently recognized the authority of attorneys general to revoke corporate charters, attorneys general have rarely chosen to exercise this option against large corporations. And no attorney general has even raised the possibility of using charter revocation as a remedy during the recent corporate crime wave.
Observers attribute this reluctance to the strong influence corporations have come to wield over state governments, as well as the severe nature of the penalty.
"Legal publishers routinely describe it in their manuals that keep lawyers up to date on the law," Benson explains. "In California, the very same statutory words that authorize revocation of corporate charters also authorize revocation of governmental power unlawfully usurped, and those words have been used for the latter purpose scores of times over the years."
Under Delaware law, the Attorney General "shall" bring a charter revocation suit if requested to do so by a "proper party." The statute, therefore, is not discretionary, but mandatory. This area of the law offers a new opportunity-a lawsuit that requires the issuance by the court of a writ of mandamus-this type of law is used to force state employees who have refused to take a non-discretionary action. CELDF believes that this gives citizens the necessary opening to force the Attorney General to bring a corporate charter revocation lawsuit against a corporation that has "misused" or "abused" its charter powers. Courts are much more willing to force the Attorney General to act in a "shall" situation than a "may" situation, because the legislature has specifically spoken about the activities that they wish the A.G. to pursue.
How does a corporation "misuse" or "abuse" its charter powers? One needs to look to prior case law to discover what activities fall into this category. Obviously, illegal activity falls outside of any charter powers that could be granted by the state. In Delaware law, as with many other states, corporate charter revocations were commonplace until around 1950. The drop-off of charter revocation actions can be blamed on the rise of the "regulatory state," in which regulation in the corporate area was passed to administrative state agencies established for these purposes. These revocation cases have defined "misuse" and "abuse" as a consistent history of statutory violations that caused public harms. CELDF believes that many of the largest U.S. corporations, including WMX Technologies Corporation, Weyerhauser Corporation, Monsanto Corporation, Union Carbide Corporation, and CSX Transportation Corporation fall into those categories of companies that have misused and abused their charter powers.
Originally posted by Someone336
reply to post by Blender Ace
And what of the countless small businesses such as mom and pop grocery stores that have been put out of business by mega-chains such as Wal-Mart?
Originally posted by Blender Ace
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
I am not defending corporations. I am asking what your plan is to replace the jobs that you propose to eliminate.
By the way, that employee working for the mom & pop store probably doesn't receive any benefits nor is entitled to any because the business is so small.
Originally posted by Blender Ace
Given your "plan" versus reality, then yes I'm absolutely defending corporatism.
So your solution for the workers whose jobs you've eliminated is to "go get a job"?
Same employee loses corporate job, no Mom & Pop Store to fall back on = good