Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Keywords

firearms, self-defense, District of Columbia v. Heller, corporate constitutional rights, Second Amendment, First Amendment

Abstract

The Supreme Court began its 2009 Term by addressing the constitutional rights of corporations. It ended the Term by addressing the incorporated rights of the Constitution. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a five-member majority of the Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend their own money on political advocacy. A corporation generally is no different than a natural person when it comes to the First Amendment - at least as it relates to political speech. In McDonald v. City of Chicago, a plurality of the Court held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is incorporated through the Due Process Clause and applies to states and municipalities. Neither the federal government nor states may prevent persons from keeping and bearing arms in their homes for self-defense.

Given this new world in both senses of incorporation, the time has come to explore the issue of Second Amendment rights and the corporate form. This Article will offer an analysis of the potential Second Amendment rights of the corporation. And it will, in the process, offer a more systematic critique of corporate constitutional rights in general.

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