Then there is the complaint about the doctrine of a corporation as “legal person.” That complaint is motivated partly by desire to slap restrictions on corporate political ads and donations (regardless of legal persons’ free speech rights) and more broadly by a dislike of the idea that “corporations are people,” as Mitt Romney said in a supposed gaffe recently. In fact, corporations are of course organizations of people, but the deeper point is that legal personhood enables a degree of accountability that would not be possible otherwise.
Let’s say a company dumped some toxic waste a few decades ago. The executives of that company may no longer be the same people, the shareholders may have entirely turned over; the people working there or holding stock may have had nothing to do with the waste dumping back then. It doesn’t matter — the corporation can still be held responsible, forced to do cleanup, pay damages and so on.
Whole thing here.