January 26, 2010
On Corporations as People...
The Supreme Court has previously held that the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination extends only to natural persons, and not the corporation.
Which helps make the recent Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission all the more provocative. Does the ruling simply reinforce our traditional notions of protected political speech? Or does it signal a new era of protected liberties for the corporate entity?
It has been noted that internet blog entries communicating customer complaints and reviews have begun irking retail companies. What will be an interesting case is when a business alleging defamation by a former customer simultaneously asserts its First Amendment right to decry a political candidate. The courts may then be forced to apply First Amendment tests for commercial and political speech to the same entity. As Citizens United instructs, the First Amendment "stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints or to distinguish among different speakers." May the least disfavored subject win...
January 26, 2010 | Permalink