Corporations cannot vote. Corporations cannot hold office. And it has long been our law that corporations have no rights to fund political candidates. That has been very good law. But the law restricting corporate campaign contributions has now been drawn into question and the U.S. Supreme Court is reconsidering it in Citizens United v. FEC. For an institution purportedly disavowing “judicial activism,” reconsideration of the settled issue would be a betrayal of the commitments so solemnly uttered by most of the justices as they sought confirmation by the Senate. And it would be a very harmful mistake without benign compensations to citizens who vote.…
[A] corporation is not a citizen. It cannot be imprisoned for serious criminal offenses. It cannot lose more of its owners’ money than it has been entrusted with. Such features are very useful to business firms and charitable organizations owning property or making contracts. But no corporation has or can be given the motives of dutiful citizens. [Read full text.]
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