Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 19, 2011, 2:06 a.m. EST by Rico
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
A lot of folks seem to think that corporations became people only recently under the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case heard by the Supreme Court last year. In reality, we debated the idea of corporations being people for about 100 years between the middle of the 19th and 20th centuries. The corporation as a person was finally cemented into law in 1948.
On June 25, 1948, US Code Title 1, Section 1 was revised by Congress to read "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise - the words "person" and "whoever" include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;"
Given this definition of a corporation as a person, the Supreme Court had little choice but to grant them their free speech rights in the Citizens United case. The majority opinion also noted media corporations (Fox, MSNBC, etc) routinely advocate candidates, and there is path under law to allow one corporation to advocate while denying another the same right according to equal protection. While I wish it wasn't so, it's hard to refute their logic on any grounds other than distaste.
The court's hands were tied. Congress needs to fix Title 1, Section 1.
I just felt people would be interested to know we've been calling corporations 'people' in one form or another since the mid 1800's and it's been a matter of law for 63 years now ! I sure didn't know that until I did the research !