This spring semester our Phi Beta Kappa Chapter will be hosting a Visiting Scholar, Adam Winkler, Professor of Law at UCLA. He will be visiting TCNJ on Monday, April 11th and Tuesday, April 12th. His visit will be entirely virtual. His topic will be, “Are Corporations People?”
Are Corporations People?
The Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizens United sent shockwaves through American politics. The Court struck down election spending limits on corporations as a violation of the First Amendment, prompting widespread protests and a movement to amend the Constitution. How did corporations become people, with the same fundamental rights as individuals? Adam Winkler uncovers the history of one of the least known but most successful civil rights movements in American history: the struggle for corporate rights. For over two centuries, corporations have fought to win Supreme Court rulings extending the protections of the Constitution to them—rights they use to thwart efforts by the public to regulate business and the economy. Winkler can discuss: the concept of legal personhood; the influence of corporations on the founding of America; the debate between Jefferson and Hamilton over corporate power; the innovative role of corporations in the constitutional law; and the future of corporate rights and how they are likely to limit LGBTQ equality.