Debating Whether Corporations Are Really People, Too

02/21/11 12:08PM By Jane Lindholm, Samantha Fields
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AP/J. Scott Applewhite
A year ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down one of its most controversial decisions in recent years. In Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission the Court ruled that corporations are like people - that they have the right to free speech, and the right to spend freely to influence elections. An ABC News-Washington Post poll taken shortly after the decision found that 80 percent of Americans oppose the decision. And just recently, a group of Vermont State Senators introduced a resolution "urging the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution for the states' consideration which provides that corporations are not persons under the laws of the US or any of its jurisdictional subdivisions." We delve into the idea of corporate personhood with First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and Vermont Law School professor Oliver Goodenough.


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