Corporate personhood, the idea that corporations enjoy the same constitutional rights as people, is experiencing a heyday. The topic has been thrust into public dialogue following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 and 2014 rulings in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, respectively, which hinged quite a bit on the idea of extending individual rights guaranteed in the Constitution to corporations. In its wake, protests like Occupy Wall Street that erupted spurred demands for an amendment that would abolish corporate personhood.

While the idea of corporate personhood is enjoying its time in the spotlight, it’s actually an idea rooted in America’s founding, aided by more than 200 years of Supreme Court judicial review.

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