Hard liners on both sides of debates about corporate rights and duties show stupidity, arrogance, or mendacity when declaring either, on the right, “of course corporations are persons” or, on the left, “of course corporations are not persons.” In fact, organizations are not natural persons. But for some purposes, they should be treated as natural persons are and for others they should not.
Context is key and hard liners tend to forget context. In the talk these days about these two SCOTUS cases, it looks as if the Divided States of America is increasingly peopled by hard liners. Alas, that’s not something to celebrate this Fourth of July.
He's right on both counts, of course. Corporate personhood obviously is a legal fiction, but it's a very useful--I would argue necessary--fiction. And the culture wars suck. It is a pity that people of good will are unable to agree without being disagreeable (and I say that as someone who occasionally errs badly in this area, usually to my regret), but we live in an era of kulturkampf.