Guns, Inc.: Citizens United, McDonald, and the Future of Corporate Constitutional Rights

71 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2010 Last revised: 27 Dec 2014

Date Written: July 6, 2010


The Supreme Court began its 2009 Term by addressing the constitutional rights of corporations. It ended the Term by addressing the incorporated rights of the Constitution. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a five-member majority of the Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend their own money on political advocacy. A corporation generally is no different than a natural person when it comes to the First Amendment - at least as it relates to political speech. In McDonald v. City of Chicago, a plurality of the Court held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated through the Due Process Clause and applies to states and municipalities. Neither the federal government nor states may prevent persons from keeping and bearing arms in their homes for self-defense.

Given this new world in both senses of incorporation, the time has come to explore the issue of Second Amendment rights and the corporate form. This Article will offer an analysis of the potential Second Amendment rights of the corporation. And it will, in the process, offer a more systematic critique of corporate constitutional rights in general.

Keywords: Heller, McDonald, Second Amendment, Citizens United, First Amendment, Corporations, Corporate Theory, Self-Defense, Person, Personhood, Self Defense, Elections, Federal Election Commission, FEC, Shareholders, Shares, Directors, Officers, Militia, Speech

Suggested Citation

Miller, Darrell A. H., Guns, Inc.: Citizens United, McDonald, and the Future of Corporate Constitutional Rights (July 6, 2010). New York University Law Review, Vol. 86, p. 887, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Darrell A. H. Miller (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

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