Originally posted by misfitofscience
Corporation are now considered a Person!
Really? What were they before now?
Corporations and other business associations have existed as collections of men (with an indeterminate lifespan) for the purpose of owning property,
doing business or carrying on trade for centuries.
By way of example, the "East India Trading Company
" was an early English joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade under a charter
granted in 1600 to the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies.
The American colonies adopted English common law as their legal standard, and many early American colonies were, in fact, settlements underwritten and
funded by these companies.
However, since the Constitution makes no mention of corporate charters, it is a power reserved to the States. All American corporations must be
chartered according to the laws of a particular state or states; although they may seek to do business in other states as a “foreign corporation,”
usually for a fee after registration.
American common law, or “case” law officially recognized corporate status as a “legal entity” for general business purposes as early as 1819,
when the Supreme Court recognized a corporate charter as a contract protected under the Constitution from official interference. Dartmouth
College v. Woodward
, 17 U.S. 518 (1819).
Subsequent cases have elaborated on the extent of these corporate rights, even extending the right of property ownership to foreign corporations in
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts v. Town of Pawlet
The basic rationale for this recognition of the “corporate fiction” was explained by Chief Justice Marshall: "The great object of an
incorporation is to bestow the character and properties of individuality on a collective and changing body of men." Providence Bank v.
, 29 U.S. 514 (1830)
The recent FEC decision does not create 'corporate persons', or bestow on them any right to vote. It restores
their rights, taken
away by Congress, to spend their money as they see fit, including advocating for or against a candidate or party.
The Supreme Court did not extend their ruling to direct funding of candidates, or eliminate existing limitations on corporate contributions to
In short, corporations have been “persons” as long as there’ve been corporations. All the SCOTUS did was allow them to buy ads,
like any other "person."