In Citizens United vs. FEC, the Supreme Court struck down a Federal ban on direct corporate expenditures on political campaigns. The decision has been widely criticized and praised as a matter of First Amendment law. But it is also interesting as another step in the evolution of our legal views of the corporation. The thesis of this Article is that by viewing Citizens United through the prism of theories about the corporate form, it is possible to understand why both the majority and the dissent departed from previous Supreme Court cases on the First Amendment rights of corporations, and to predict what arguments can be expected next.
Constitutional Law | Corporation and Enterprise Law
Date of this Version
Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, "To Be or Not to Be? Citizens United and the Corporate Form" (February 2010). University of Michigan Program in Law and Economics. Working Paper 4.