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E5: The Corporate Civil Rights Movement

Updated: Dec 10, 2020


American businesses have long been seen as people in the law. This notion is far more embedded in the history of the U.S. than many people realize. America is said to be the land created so that oppressed groups come in order to be free from oppression, but perhaps the truer story is that America was first and foremost an enterprise. In the wake of a new era of civil rights people are demanding their rights and so are corporations. UCLA corporate law historian Adam Wrinkler talks about how corporations came to be people and the impact of their own civil rights movements in his book We The Corporations.

“There’s even many provisions of the constitution itself that really stem from our history as original corporate colonies. Many of the original colonies were formed as business corporations, and they of course transformed over time into political governments but they shared many of the same principles including the very idea of a written constitution. Corporations had written charters, and so did the corporate colonies of the early Republic.”

“Over the course of American history, the Supreme Court has been very business friendly by and large, and whether it’s Democrats or Republicans who appoint the judges, the justices on the Supreme Court tend to rule in favor of businesses and business corporations.”

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