January 21, 2010
By 5-4, a bitterly divided U.S. Supreme Court rules in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that a corporation is entitled to the same First Amendment rights as any other "person"—including the right to donate unlimited amounts of money to political candidates. The decision strikes down a provision in the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law that had prohibited corporations from directly contributing to political campaigns. Business groups hail the ruling as a victory for free speech and democracy. So do the fund-raising arms of the Democratic and Republican parties.
February 22, 2013
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit determines that the Constitution’s definition of “person” covers not just human beings, but also corporations, partnerships, associations, special purpose entities and other types of “so-called fictitious legal entities.” Thus, the court concludes, every Starbucks store must be counted as a person in the next census.
August 12, 2015
The Supreme Court of Alabama rules, in American Cast Iron Pipe Company v. Alabama, that as a “person” under both the federal and state constitutions, corporations and other fictitious legal entities have the right to vote.
September 12, 2017
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit holds that the estate of a deceased person is a “fictitious legal entity” with constitutionally protected rights. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley IV says the decision vindicates his city’s longstanding practice of allowing dead people to vote.
December 9, 2019
Mickey Mouse is a “fictitious legal entity” whose right to vote is protected by both the state and federal constitutions, California’s Supreme Court rules. After the decision is announced, representatives of Mr. Mouse declare he will immediately register to vote, along with Pluto, Goofy, and throngs of their fictitious brethren.
November 4, 2022
In an electoral landslide, Mickey Mouse is elected governor of California. His opponent, Rep. Duncan Hunter, calls the vote a “ridiculous popularity contest” and asserts that Gov.-elect Mouse “has not provided a single specific proposal on any issue of import to Californians.” He vows to challenge the election in court.
January 18, 2023
The U.S. Supreme Court affirms the election of Gov. Mickey Mouse. The 7-2 decision in Hunter v. Mouse holds that—as “persons” under the Constitution—corporations and other fictitious legal entities have “a clear constitutional right to hold elective office.” After the decision is announced, Disney’s share price shoots up 13%.
May 13, 2025
President Sarah Palin signs into law the Civil Rights Act of 2025, which provides strong protections to a group that has long been discriminated against: non-natural persons.
“For over 200 years, this country has treated corporations and other fictitious legal entities differently than other people. We now put an end to that dark chapter of our nation’s history,” says the law’s sponsor, Sen. Goldman Sachs.
August 14, 2027
The Supreme Court of Massachusetts holds that, as “persons” under the federal and state constitutions, non-natural persons have the right to get married.
On the courthouse steps, 500 subsidiaries of Microsoft announce plans to wed individuals from India and Bangladesh—who will then be able to move to the U.S.
“This is not a ploy to get around U.S. visa requirements and bring in low wage workers,” said a spokesperson for Microsoft. “This is true love.”
November 7, 2028
Winning 72.1% of the popular vote, California Governor Mickey Mouse is elected President of the United States. He runs weakest among men (garnering just 39% of the vote) and women (45%). However, he is carried to victory by his strength in other key demographic groups: corporations (67%), cartoons (68%), lobbying groups (73%), copyrighted film scores (78%) and online avatars (81%).
Despite losing the election in a landslide, Sen. Lorelei Whyte-Katte refuses to concede. She files a court challenge, asserting that her opponent cannot hold the nation’s highest elective office because he is not a “natural born citizen” as required by the Constitution. As a fictitious entity, he was never “born,” she argues.
January 10, 2029
The U.S. Supreme Court rejects the legal challenge to President-Elect Mickey Mouse. By 5-4, the court in Whyte-Katte v. Mouse declines to rule on whether the President-Elect is a “natural born citizen” and instead decides the case on procedural grounds. The court holds that Sen. Whyte-Katte lacks legal standing to challenge the election.
In a blistering dissent read from the bench, Justice Antonin Scalia asserts that the decision effectively prevents anyone from enforcing the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” requirement. “The majority have created a right without a remedy, in derogation of the framers’ intent,” Justice Scalia states.
The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Donald Duck, rebuts this argument in pithy terms: “Nyah, nyah.”
January 20, 2029
Mickey Mouse becomes the 47th president of the United States. Disney stock leaps 23%. Shares in United States of America decline 8%.
SUGGESTED READSList: Less Powerful Industry Lobbying Groups
by Todd Rovak (2/1/2006)
Five People Just as Doctrinaire and Tiresome as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Speculate on How He Got That Way
by Bob Woodiwiss (7/1/2005)
List: Flavors That I Would Imagine the Forehead of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Tastes Like
by Michael Genrich (10/25/2000)
RECENTLYHitchcock After Therapy
by Shannon Reed (4/27/2015)
Hungover Bear and Friends: A Negative Grudge Endangers Recovery
by Ali Fitzgerald (4/27/2015)
I Feel Like NPR Doesn’t Like My New Radio Show Idea
by Dan Kennedy (4/24/2015)