Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Amanda Shanor


Business law in the United States has come a long way from the Industrial Revolution. This essay analyzes landmark Supreme Court cases involving businesses since Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886 to show how they have impacted the rights of individuals. Since the initial recognition of businesses as individuals, they have been able to access rights and privileges enjoyed by people. This essay will analyze how businesses have accessed and impacted the rights and privileges to speech, free exercise and economic engagement. This essay uses teleological argumentation and a legal realist approach in order to examine the impacts that the cases discussed have had on individuals. All of this leads to a discussion of how the development of corporate personhood threatens the intrinsic nature of rights.


Law, Business, First Amendment, Economics, Politics



Date Posted: 09 October 2020


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