In a Slate column prompted by Citizens United v. FEC, entitled The Pinocchio Project: Watching as the Supreme Court turns a corporation into a real live boy, Dahlia Lithwick complains that the Supreme Court struck "down century-old restrictions on corporate spending in federal elections." She then cites approvingly to Justice Steven's wheezing complaints:
Stevens hammers, more than once this morning from the bench on the principle that corporations "are not human beings" and "corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires." He insists that "they are not themselves members of 'We the People' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."
Of course, as we saw in my earlier post Citizens United v FEC: The First Amendment Rights of Corporate "Persons", the proposition that the corporation is a legal person with (most of) the same rights as natural persons has been settled as a matter of constitutional law since at least 1885 and, as a matter of common law, for centuries before that.