Why the Campaign Against Corporate Personhood Is Misguided

Considerable controversy has surrounded the Supreme Court’s sharply divided decisions in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. Critics argue that giving business corporations unwarranted constitutional protections entrenches corporate power at the expense of democracy by putting legal fictions on the same political plane as human beings. The powerful intuitions and normative concerns underpinning these objections are captured in familiar slogans, such as “End Corporate Rule,” “Corporations Are Not People,” and “We the People, Not We the Corporations.”

Rallying around such catchphrases is a broad social movement demanding that rights be restricted to human beings and corporate personhood be abolished (see … Read more