Four years ago, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that for-profit corporations possess a First Amendment right to make independent campaign expenditures. In so doing, the United States Supreme Court invited speculation that such corporations might possess other First Amendment rights as well. The petitioners in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius are now arguing that for-profit corporations are among the intended beneficiaries of the Free Exercise Clause and, along with the respondents in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, that they also qualify as “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Neither suggestion follows inexorably from Citizens United, and the role of the case in the pending disputes remains to be seen. Still, it seems fair to say that the Court’s fidelity to the concept of corporate personhood espoused in Citizens United will shape how it evaluates the pending religious liberty cases.
Katz, Ellen D. "Hobby Lobby and the Pathology of Citizens United." Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol'y 9 (2014): 23-36.