Volume 86, Number 4

October 2011

Guns, Inc.: Citizens United, McDonald, and the Future of Corporate Constitutional Rights

Darrell A.H. Miller

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, provide a more systematic critique of corporate constitutional
rights in general.