Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=794785
 
 

Citations (1)



 
 

Footnotes (175)



 


 



Essential Speech: Why Corporate Speech is Not Free


Daniel J.H. Greenwood


Hofstra University College of Law


Iowa Law Review, Vol. 83, pp. 995-1070, 1998

Abstract:     
In a democracy, the citizens are the only legitimate sources of law. It follows inexorably that corporations, not being citizens, cannot be legitimate political actors.

The problem of corporate speech is further complicated by the internal rules of corporate governance. When corporations "speak," they do so by decision of their managers, who are constrained by fiduciary duties and economic pressure of the stock market to advocate for a single value: maximum profit for shares. In a multifaceted culture of manifold and various values, it is inevitable that the pursuit of profit, valuable as it is, will conflict with other important goals. But role-constrained corporate managers may not consider those other values, even in circumstances where they, or any other corporate participant, would view them as important.

Because corporate speakers are barred from considering the full range of values critical to any citizen's analysis, corporate speech cannot reflect the actual views of any citizen or human being with a claim on corporate assets. Instead, it is legally constrained advocacy, using corporate resources, on behalf of a purely imaginary principal, reflecting only one side of the conflicts around which our politics revolves.

It follows that current First Amendment doctrine is backwards. The speaker matters; instead of corporate speech being protected, it should be suspect. To grant a tool a right against the citizens who use it is a form of political idolatry that ought to be abhorrent to any democratic regime.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 93

Keywords: corporate speech, First Amendment, Bellotti, corporate governance, campaign finance

JEL Classification: P16,D21,D63,D72,G34,H10,K22,L22,M14

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: January 1, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Daniel J.H., Essential Speech: Why Corporate Speech is Not Free. Iowa Law Review, Vol. 83, pp. 995-1070, 1998. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=794785 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.794785

Contact Information

Daniel J.H. Greenwood (Contact Author)
Hofstra University College of Law ( email )
121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States
516-463-7013 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://law.hofstra.edu/greenwood

Hofstra University Logo

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,340
Downloads: 353
Download Rank: 44,980
Citations:  1
Footnotes:  175

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.297 seconds