The recent Supreme Court decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission), as Lyle Denniston wrote in his SCOTUSblog, confers "new dignity on corporate persons, treating them under the First Amendment free-speech clause as the equal of human beings."
Here's the relevant passages:
At least in politics, the Court majority indicated, corporations have a voice, and they have worthy political ideas. Here is the way Justice Anthony M. Kennedy put it (partially quoting from an earlier ruling): "Corporations and other associations, like individuals, contribute to the discussion, debate, and the dissemination of information and ideas' that the First Amendment seeks to foster."
Denniston also writes that:
"...the decades-old image of American corporations as a destabilizing and perhaps even corrupting influence in politics has now been thoroughly re-examined by the Supreme Court, and the corporate "person" emerges from the process with in the eyes of the majority a burnished image of good citizen.
Pretty amazing decision, from my perspective here in the trough of a global recession caused by severe corporate malfeasance.
Well, with the gates finally lifted, corporations are lining up to run for those lucrative Congressional seats themselves -- started off by PR firm Murray Hill:
"Until now," Murray Hill Inc. said in a statement, "corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence peddling to achieve their goals in Washington. But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves."
The best line in this (satirical) press release?
Campaign Manager William Klein promises an aggressive, historic campaign that "puts people second" or even third.
And if corporations can run for Congress, does that mean that they can be appointed to the Supreme Court?