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ENRICH-0545 – Law: Corporate Rights (ENRICH-0545_CORP)

Corporate Personhood: Are Corporations Really People?

It might sound a bit odd, but the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear: Corporations have both freedom of speech and religious liberty protection just like individuals. “This is a hot topic due to the Citizens United and Hobby Lobby cases,” says Karen Breslin, a political science instructor and attorney. The trend toward granting rights to corporations is at the center of concerns about campaign financing. But Breslin says this also raises the issue of how corporations should function in society (i.e., what do corporations owe the community and the world at large?). Join Breslin as she explores this topic by examining a brief history of corporations in America, the debate over corporate personhood and a new corporate certification, so-called B Corporations—which denote a company’s status as a corporate good citizen. Breslin taps into a variety of methods to explore the issue: examining commentary about corporate personhood, delving into the legal status of corporations by exploring details of the Citizens United and Hobby Lobby cases, watching short videos and holding an in-class debate on a hypothetical, raising questions similar to those in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. “I take an even-handed approach to this topic by also explaining why corporations occupy the legal position that they do and the societal benefits of this status, even as I critique the trend of treating corporations as rights-bearing entities,” Breslin says.

Two Zoom sessions
Thur., Nov. 4, 11, 2021, 6:30-8:30 pm MT

Karen Breslin teaches American government and legal studies courses at the University of Colorado Denver. She is also an attorney practicing environmental law and formerly worked as a contract lawyer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which is among the leading advocates worldwide seeking to advance the rights of nature.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: OnlinePlaces Left: 21Waitlist Places Left: 10Fee: $70


Days of the WeekStart DateEnd DateTimeVenueInstructor
Thursday4th November 202111th November 202106:30PM - 08:30PMN/AKaren Breslin