Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Do corporate papers count as a person -- in the HOV lane?

Because corporations are people, right?

Sister Larissa Shimkaveg from Local 385 in Orlando shared this priceless item with us from NBC News:
When Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, Calif., was pulled over for driving alone in the carpool lane, he argued to the officer that, actually, he did have a passenger. 
He waved his corporation papers at the officer, he told NBCBayArea.com, saying that corporations are people under California law. 
Frieman doesn't actually support this notion. For more than 10 years, Frieman says he had been trying to get pulled over to get ticketed and to take his argument to court -- to challenge a judge to determine that corporations and people are not the same. Mission accomplished in October, when he was slapped with a fine -- a minimum of $481. 
Frieman has been frustrated with corporate personhood since before it became a hot button issue in 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporate and union spending may not be restricted by the government under the First Amendment.
Frieman will fight his traffic ticket in court, hoping a judge will strike down California's definition of corporate personhood.

Here's how he made his case in the San Rafael Patch.
Your honor, according to the vehicle code definition and legal sources, I did have a 'person' in my car.  
But Officer 'so-and-so' believes I did NOT have another person in my car. If you rule in his favor, you are saying that corporations are not persons. 
I hope you do rule in his favor. I hope you do overturn 125 years of settled law. 
On the other hand, your honor, if you dismiss the ticket and say I am right, that means anyone can go into the carpool lane alone during restricted hours. That is, you are saying that everyone, riding alone in an automobile in the carpool lane during restricted hours, also has on board a corporation, or, under California law, a 'person' other than them.
Stay tuned. His case may get thrown out if the officer doesn't appear in court (we hope that doesn't happen).