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Free Speech And Corporate Freedom: A Comment On First National Bank Of Boston V. Bellotti, Carl E. Schneider
The corporation was born in chains but is everywhere free. That freedom was recently affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti. In Bellotti, the Court overturned a Massachusetts criminal statute forbidding banks and business corporations to make expenditures intended to influence referenda concerning issues not "materially affecting" the corporation's "property, business, or assets." In doing so, the Court confirmed its discovery that commercial speech is not unprotected by the first amendment and announced a novel doctrine that corporate speech is not unprotected by the first amendment. Although several years have passed ...