Does the Right to Free Speech Extend to Corporations

·
.grantham.edu/webapps/assignment/uploadAssignment?content_id=_1785850_1&course_id=_23877_1&assign_group_id=&mode=view”>W6 Assignment “Does the Right to Free Speech Extend to
Corporations?”
Contemporary Political Issues
Does the Right to Free Speech Extend to
Corporations?
This week, we studied how, under the Supreme Court ruling of
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporations are afforded free
speech. For your essay this week, make a case for or against the constitutionality
of not allowing a corporation to promote one political candidate over another
(for example, through campaign funding, advertising, compelling votes from
employees, etc.). As part of the assignment, use your position on
constitutional interpretation and show how that school of thought informs your
position.
In addition to the arguments on corporations and free speech in
the text book, use at least one additional outside source. Your paper needs to
be a minimum of 500 words in length and follow APA style guidelines. You may
not use Wikipedia as a source.

As of the beginning of 2011, corporations in the US
do have at least a partial right to freedom of speech, though this can
certainly be amended or altered by future legislation or legal action. The
issue of freedom of speech with regard to corporations is an aspect of
“corporate personhood,” which refers to the concept of a.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-corporation.htm”>corporation as a single entity or
person, and what rights that corporate person enjoys. This has been a source of
much debate and numerous US.wisegeek.com/what-have-been-the-most-important-supreme-court-cases.htm”>Supreme Court cases, and the 2010 case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
indicated that corporations have the right to freedom of speech.
The right to freedom of speech refers to the right of
a person in the US to freely voice his or her opinion and views without
punishment by the government. This is afforded by the First Amendment to the US
Constitution, which prevents the government from creating laws that interfere
with the right to freedom of speech.
There has been a great deal of debate regarding the
right to freedom of speech with regard to corporations, which deals with the
question of corporate personhood. Since the US Constitution and its amendments
only grant freedom of speech and similar rights to individuals, these rights
are not necessarily extended to corporations and businesses. The argument that
has been made, however, is that corporations are merely collections of people,
and so should have the same rights as those individuals. This has often been
supported by interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution
that indicates the rights in the Constitution, such as the right to freedom of
speech, are granted to all US citizens.
The interpretation of this amendment, and its
relation to corporate personhood, has not been flawless. Lawyers representing
corporations have often argued that businesses should not have to reveal tax
information or financial records under protection of the Fifth Amendment and
freedom from.wisegeek.com/what-is-self-incrimination.htm”>self-incrimination. This has not been
recognized, however, so corporations tend to have some rights under the
Constitution, while not having others.
In the 2010 ruling by the US Supreme Court on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,
however, the.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-nonprofit.htm”>nonprofit corporation Citizens United
was deemed to have the right to freedom of speech. Previous laws had banned the
use of corporate money in funding political advertisements that would air in
close proximity to an election. This ruling, however, declared that such
limitations infringed upon the free speech of corporations, and granted
corporations the right to freedom of speech, though future rulings could alter
such rights.

 

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