Does the Constitution treat corporations as “persons”?

In a continuing series of posts, Lyle Denniston provides responses based on the Constitution and its history to public statements about the meaning of the Constitution  and what duties it imposes or rights its protects. Today’s topic: corporate personhood. The constitutional claim: “Corporations are people, my friend….Of course they are…Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to […]

Constitution Check: Does the Constitution shield S&P’s downward rating of U.S. credit?

A congressional committee held a hearing July 27 on the slow pace of government moves to write new rules to govern the credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings.  This was shortly before S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, sending financial tremors around the globe. The constitutional […]


At breakfast in Washington last week with Tom Ingram, the former chief of staff to Tennesseee Senator Lamar Alexander, I asked what the hot political talk was in Tennessee these days. It turns out that there is a lot of discussion around getting square with the constitution — the 1870 Tennessee state constitution, that is. […]