New Law Review: Corporations & the First Amendment: Examining the Health of Democracy

The Center on Corporations, Law & Society hosted a national conference, Corporations & The First Amendment: Examining the Health of Democracy, on October 20, 2006. The proceedings of the conference have been published in a special symposium issue of the Seattle University Law Review, which can be ordered by contacting

Organized in collaboration with noted First Amendment scholar and Seattle University School of Law Professor David Skover and the Seattle University Law Review, this conference brought together nationally recognized legal scholars, attorneys, policymakers and activists to explore how corporations, corporate law and first amendment jurisprudence influence an active democracy.

Sessions included:

  • Corporations & the First Amendment: A Historical Overview, featuring Professor Adam Winkler of UCLA School of Law.
  • A debate on “Should Corporations Have First Amendment Rights?” between law professor Dan Greenwood, now of Hofstra University School of Law, and lawyer Erik Jaffe, contributing blogger to The Volokh Conspiracy.
  • Corporations & Commercial Speech, featuring Ron Collins of the First Amendment Center; David Vladeck, professor of law at Georgetown and former director of the Public Citizen Litigation Group; Tamara Piety, law professor at University of Tulsa College of Law; and Mark Lopez, senior staff counsel with the head office of the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • Corporations & Political Speech: Should Speech Equal Money?, featuring Professor Martin Redish, noted constitutional law scholar at Northwestern School of Law; Scott Thomas, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission; and Lisa Danetz, staff attorney with the National Voting Rights Institute.
  • The Corporatization of Communication, with Lawrence Soley, professor of communication and journalism at Marquette University and author of Censorship, Inc.; Professor Adam Candeub, former attorney-advisor to the Federal Communications Commission; and Jeffrey Chester, director of the Center for Digital Democracy.
  • Protecting the Polity: Strategies for Reform, with Charlie Cray, Director of the Center for Corporate Policy, Solange Bitol-Hansen, National Programs Director for Public Campaign, and Bruce Freed, Co-Director of the Center for Political Accountability.
  • Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU and author of Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them), gave the keynote address.

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