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Article
Business Associations Reign Supreme: The Corporatist Underpinnings of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
27 T.M. Cooley L. Rev. 477 (2010)
  • Woody R Clermont
Abstract
When the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010, the ruling ultimately dealt a strong blow to political equality in the United States. Like large governments, corporations can become dangerous if left unchecked in their freedom to dominate the airwaves, recorded and printed distributed media. Oligopoly and any hoarding of power, has been historically feared in this county, and with good reason. Yet American oligopolies currently exist in film production, television, the wireless cellular telephone market, healthcare insurance and the beer industry, for examples. Similar to the Japanese zaibatsu in prewar Japan, large corporations and conglomerates can translate their economic dominance into political control rather quickly. The globalization of many markets, has left the door open for foreign interests and entities to likewise exert a great amount of influence over a domestic electorate. This Article is an examination of the legal history of corporations in the United States, particularly scrutinizing the concept of corporate personhood. One consideration to be explored is the relationship between Adam Smith and the founding fathers and his effect on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A necessary part of the investigation includes an examination of the development of the corporate constitutional prerogative and of corporate rights. By tracking the changes in U.S. case law in the past several decades, this Article illustrates how the ramifications of Citizens United can lead to the destructive empowerment of a de facto corporatocracy.
Disciplines
Publication Date
Winter 2010
Publisher Statement
Copyright Woody R. Clermont and Thomas M. Cooley School of Law.
Citation Information
Woody R Clermont. "Business Associations Reign Supreme: The Corporatist Underpinnings of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission" 27 T.M. Cooley L. Rev. 477 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/woody_clermont/10/