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“You are my creator, but I am your master; Obey!”

From the earliest days of the Republic, our courts recognized that “the right to conduct business in the form of a corporation, and . . . to enter into relations of employment with individuals, is not a natural or fundamental right.” Rather, “[a] corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of the law.” It is “presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public” and “receives certain special privileges” to effectuate this purpose. Thus, it was understood that the Government “may qualify the privilege by imposing such conditions and duties as reasonably may be deemed expedient, in order that [a] corporation’s activities may not operate to the detriment of the rights of others with whom it may come in contact.” [excerpt]

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