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The First Amendment and the Business Corporation$
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Ronald J. Colombo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199335671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199335671.001.0001

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The First Amendment

The First Amendment

Freedom of Speech

Chapter:
(p.119) Chapter 6 The First Amendment
Source:
The First Amendment and the Business Corporation
Author(s):

Ronald J. Colombo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199335671.003.0007

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, corporations have enjoyed the freedom of speech. Chapter 6 critiques that determination, suggesting that although freedom of speech is appropriately recognized for the postmodern corporation, it is not appropriately recognized for the modern corporation. This is because the postmodern corporation is capable of genuine speech, whereas the modern corporation is not. This conclusion can be reached pursuant to the prevailing theories of First Amendment interpretation: the “marketplace of ideas” interpretation, the “listener autonomy” approach, and the “self-realization” approach. The reason a postmodern corporation is capable of speech and a modern corporation incapable of speech is that the former is an association and the latter is not. As an association, the postmodern corporation has authentic expressive capability, whereas the modern corporation, beholden to profit maximization, does not.

Keywords:   First Amendment, marketplace of ideas, listener autonomy, self-realization, expressive speech, freedom of association

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