WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on whether corporations, like real people, can be held liable in American courts for international human rights violations.
The issue has divided four appeals courts over the past year and a half, as Democrat-appointed judges have uniformly voted for corporate liability while all but one Republican-appointed judge has come down for corporate immunity.
That kind of application of corporate personhood would be enough to make a casual observer's head explode.
Legally, however, Tuesday's case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, is totally unrelated to the Citizens United decision. What the Court decides, at least in theory, should have everything to do with how the justices approach international law.