The nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law in partnership with the American Constitution Society held a fascinating discussion on the long and complicated history of corporations in America, starting with British East India Company. The talk featured Adam Winkler, author of “We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights” and Dahlia Lithwick, the Senior Editor and Supreme Court correspondent at Slate magazine. From the event invite:
Citizens United. Hobby Lobby. Many Americans had not heard of the movement to expand constitutional rights for businesses before these landmark cases. But the struggle for corporate rights has a long, complicated history in the United States. The first Supreme Court case extending constitutional protections to corporations was decided in 1809, more than a half-century before the first comparable cases for racial minorities or women. In the years since, the nation’s most powerful corporations have gained our most fundamental rights, transforming the Constitution to serve the ends of capital.
Join Adam Winkler, law professor at UCLA and author of the new book We the Corporations, for a discussion about the American government’s relationship to big business and the 200-year effort to give corporations the same rights as people. He will be joined by Dahlia Lithwick — one of the country’s most prominent legal journalists — an editor at Slate and host of its Amicus podcast — who covers the Supreme Court and its decisions on corporate rights.
The video is about 80 minutes. Take a look: