1. Um, actually, no, it doesn’t surface in court cases in the 1880’s.

    Where it surfaces is in a very badly (over-)written summary of a court case involving the Southern Pacific Railroad.

    Supreme Court cases are ‘summarized’ for the record by the Secretary of the Supreme Court, which at the time (and as far as I know, still) is a political sinecure appointment. At the time, the person holding that seat was an ex-Southern Pacific Railroad executive, and he wrote into the summary of the court’s decision in the case things that no Justice ever said or implied about corporate personhood.

    However, law clerks ever since have cited the summary, not the actual opinions of the Justices, and so it goes on down the line…


  2. A corporate “right to religious freedom” doesn’t pass the smell test. What happens, in practice, when a corporation “speaks out” for its religious freedom? Corporations are not democratic organizations, They are hierarchical and autocratic. So, in practice, the top managers (or maybe even just the owner or CEO) decides what to do for all the employees. So, 99% of the employees at Hobby Lobby may, hypothetically, think it’s just fine and dandy to provide contraceptives, but their opinion doesn’t matter. They make the money and do the work, but they get no say. And this, somehow, makes for more free speech? On the contrary, it stifles the voices of all but a few — the few with the money.

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