David Cobb in Bainbridge Island

Telling the story of corporate personhood.

David Cobb: End Corporate Rule, Legalize Democracy

Founding member of Move to Amend and former Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb visited Washington State to reveal the origins of corporate power in America and inspire activism for I-735. David’s presentation will help us understand how we can work together to abolish corporate personhood and establish a government of, by, and for the people.

Introduction to Corporate Personhood from ReclaimDemocracy.org

Corporate Personhood


  1. Introduction to Corporate Personhood
  2. Controversies Relating to Corporate Personhood
  3. In-depth Articles and Resources
  4. Significant U.S. Court Cases in the Evolution of Corporate “Rights”
  5. Our Campaigns and What You Can Do
  6. Groups Challenging Corporate Personhood
  7. Other Initiatives Challenging Corporate Personhood
  8. Complete Index of Corporate Personhood Articles at Reclaim Democracy

Introduction to Corporate Personhood

Our Bill of Rights was the result of tremendous efforts to institutionalize and protect the rights of human beings. It strengthened the premise of our Constitution: that the people are the root of all power and authority for government. This vision has made our Constitution and government a model emulated in many nations.

But corporate lawyers (acting as both attorneys and judges) subverted our Bill of Rights in the late 1800’s by establishing the doctrine of “corporate personhood” — the claim that corporations were intended to fully enjoy the legal status and protections created for human beings.

We believe that corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges we willfully grant them. Granting corporations the status of legal “persons” effectively rewrites the Constitution to serve corporate interests as though they were human interests. Ultimately, the doctrine of granting constitutional rights to corporations gives a thing illegitimate privilege and power that undermines our freedom and authority as citizens. While corporations are setting the agenda on issues in our Congress and courts, We the People are not; for we can never speak as loudly with our own voices as corporations can with the unlimited amplification of money.

Read our draft constitutional amendment to revoke corporate constitutional “rights,”  (published nearly a decade before the Citizens United v FEC ruling). See also Move to Amend’s proposed language.

Read this model resolution to free democracy from corporate control, along with a list of how’s and why’s of resolutions to help you catalyze action in your area.


  1. Our Hidden Corporate History – This overview of the rise of corporate power in the U.S. also is available as a 2-page flier (pdf).
  2. Interactive visual timeline of the history of Corporate Personhood.
  3. Timeline of Personhood Rights and Powers (pdf) – by Jan Edwards

back to top

WILPF 10 Session Study Guide on Corporations vs Democracy

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom has a study guide on Corporations vs Democracy.

Click here to download the course by section or in one large file.


Timeline of Personhood Rights and Powers


get updates