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Chapter 10

LEGALST 39D Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Natural Person, Legal Personality, Quid Pro Quo

Legal Studies
Course Code
Alan Pomerantz

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Legal Studies 39D
- Legal entity created until the authority of the laws of a state or nation
- Usually with numerous shareholders individuals, other corporations
- Limited liability: shareholders have right to participate in the corporate
profits but are not held personally personally liable for the company’s debt
Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commissions
MAJORITY (by Kennedy)
- Austin: Court held political speech may be banned based on speaker’s
corporate identity
- Government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and
disclosure requirements but it may not suppress that speech
- CU nonprofit,, accepts some money from for-profit corporations, made
Hillary: The Movie critical of Senator Clinton
- 1st amendment has its fullest and most urgent application to speech uttered
during a campaign for political office
- Laws burdening political speech are subject to strict scrutiny
- Speech restrictions based on the identity of the speaker are all to often
simply a means to control content
- Corporate independent expenditures at issue in this case would not interfere
with governmental functions
- Austin Court gov interest in limiting political speech antidistortion interest
(interest in preventing the corrosive and distortinf effects of immense
aggregations of wealth that are accumulated with the help of the corporate
form and that have little or no correlation to the support for the
corporation’s political ideas
o If accept, government can ban political speech simply because speaker
is an association that has taken on the corporate form
o Irrelevant for the purpose of the first amendment that corporate
funds may gave little or no correlation to the public’s support for the
corporation’s political ideas
o Consequence that Congress could can political speech of media
corporations law’s exception for media corporations is an
admission of the invalidity of the antidistortion rationale
- Anticorruption interest
o Interest in preventing corruption or its appearance large direct
contributions could be given to secure a political quid pro quo
o Practices covered by bribery laws
o The appearance of indluence or access will not cause electorate to lose
faith in our democracy, in fact, that fact that corporation or any other
speaker is willing to spend money to try to persuade voters
presupposes that people have the ultimate influence over elected
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