Myth has it that, in the 1886 Supreme Court Case of Santa Clara County v The Southern Pacific Railroad, corporations were granted the same protections based upon The Bill of Rights that natural human beings possess. Subsequent court cases have based decisions favorable to corporations upon this myth.
The truth is that the clerk of the court, J. C. Bancroft Davis, a former railroad board president, wrote "Corporations are persons" in the headnotes of the case.
Ironically, the case had nothing at all to do with whether or not corporations were persons. Furthermore, headnotes do not carry the weight of the law and are not part of the decision.
Yet, as mentioned, court cases that followed Santa Clara County v. The Southern Pacific Railroad have been decided upon as if the 1886 case legally gave personhood to corporations.