|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word – Let Freedom Ka-Ching|
Colbert refers to a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1886 dealing with railroad taxes where Bancroft Davis, a court reporter, added the part about corporate personhood even though it was not in the actual decision. You may think Colbert was making up the part about the court reporter also being president of a railroad. He wasn’t.
Why did the chief justice issue his dictum? Why did he leave it up to Davis to include it in the headnotes? After Waite told him that the Court ‘avoided’ the issue of corporate personhood, why did Davis include it? Why, indeed, did he begin his headnote with it? The opinion made plain that the Court did not decide the corporate personality issue and the subsidiary equal protection issue.
If this happened in a banana republic, we would have no problem saying the fix was in, right?