'A Corporation Has No Soul': Modern Corporations, Corporate Governance, and Involvement in the Political Process

49 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Carol R. Goforth

Carol R. Goforth

University of Arkansas - School of Law

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Modern-day corporations should not be granted the same first amendment privileges enjoyed by individual citizens. In Citizens United v. FEC, 130 S. Ct. 876 (2010), Citizens United argued that when the First Amendment was drafted, it did not define corporations as outside its jurisdiction, and the amendment protects the right of “speech” without regard to the “speaker.” However, it is important to note that the Founding Fathers could not have anticipated the nature of modern corporations, which are far from the “association of peers” corporations used to resemble. Instead, modern corporations focus on short-tern goals that have led to horrible accounting scandals, bankruptcies, and public outrage. Thus, the “voice” of a corporation does not reflect the voices of its individual employees, but protects the association’s selfish goals. A corporation should not be considered the same as an individual or an association of peers on the subject of the first amendment.

Keywords: Corporation, Enterprise, Charter, Shareholder, First Amendment, Free Speech, Executive Compensation, Soulless, Immoral, Citizens United v. FEC, Citizens United

JEL Classification: K00, K1, K10, K2, K22

Suggested Citation

Goforth, Carol R., 'A Corporation Has No Soul': Modern Corporations, Corporate Governance, and Involvement in the Political Process (2010). Houston Law Review, Vol. 47, 2010, University of Arkansas Research Paper No. 13-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157017

Carol R. Goforth (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States
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