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The crux of the Constitutional analysis of corporate "personhood" and "speech"

Further to my four preceding posts, I copy below a further comment that I left on a thread at The Volokh Conspiracy, which I think summarizes the core Constitutional issue:

TokyoTom says:

John Dewey:
Sorry, Tom. You can disagree with me, but the majority on the U.S.
Supreme Court agrees with me. Justice Scalia made it very clear that
the First Amendment protects not speakers but rather speech:

“The Amendment is written in terms of “speech,” not speakers. Its text offers
no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single
individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated
associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of

John, I‘m quite aware of what the court has held, but they‘re
clearly missing a very obvious distinction: for Constitutional purposes
PEOPLE “speak”, not animals or other things. A corporation is certainly
an association of individuals, each of whom has his own right to speak.
But a corporation is a THING, legally distinct from its owners. Does a
corporation speak for itself, or for others — who bear no liability for
any false, tortious or criminal speech?

Further, corporations are creatures of the state, so the state has
the right to determine their powers. Just as the Rehnquist court held
that the government can gag doctors at clinics that accept federal aid,
and just as the government still gags churches and other groups that
want federal non-profit tax status, so can the state limit the right of
owners of corporations to speak through them.

This should be an easy issue, but the Court obfuscates by comparing
stated-created corporations, whose owners have received the special
privilege of not being liable for any acts of the corporation, with
“single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated
associations of individuals”, none of which is an artificial,
statutorily-created entity with rights or obligations in excess of
those of their owners.

If the Court had held that corporations are things — not “persons —
and thus do no utter “speech” for purposes of the First Amendment, this
would not at all affect the ability of any class of real, live human
being associated with them to speak. Employees, managers and owners
could all speak individually, or form groups for doing so.

The Court‘s decision here is completely wrong-headed.

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