#1 California man says he can drive in carpool lane with corporation papers03-08-2013, 11:50 AM
By Isolde Raftery, Staff Writer, 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.
At the heart of the high court ruling was the argument that corporations -- because they are composed of individuals – deserve protection under the First Amendment, which guarantees free speech.
Frieman, who faces a traffic court on Monday, plans to tell the judge that this isn’t about carpool lanes; it’s about corporate power.
"I'm just arresting their power and using it for my service to drive in the carpool lane," he told NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle.
University of San Francisco law professor Robert Talbot says Frieman’s argument may not hold up because it steers too far from the intent of carpool lane laws.
"A court might say, ‘Well, it says person, and a corporation is a person, so that'll work for the carpool lane,’” Talbot told NBCBayArea.com. “It’s possible, but I doubt it.”
In an opinion piece posted to the San Rafael Patch site on May 14, 2011, Frieman broke down his argument.
A carpool lane is two or more persons per vehicle, he said. The definition of person in California’s Vehicle Code is “natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.”
“Just imagine what THAT courtroom scene’ll be like,” he wrote.
He imagined what he might say to the judge: “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.”
But before he can make grand proclamations, the officer who ticketed him must show up to court. Otherwise, his ticket may be thrown out.
They snuck this one past me in January, I wonder if anything has come of it yet.
03-08-2013, 01:22 PM
The left is playing their usual straw man game. The Citizens United decision did not say that corporations are people, it said that when people form corporations, they remain people, with individual rights to speak and to publish or disseminate that speech. For future reference, here is the relevant piece from the SCOTUS decision:
(1) The First Amendment prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for engaging in political speech, but Austin’s antidistortion rationale would permit the Government to ban political speech because the speaker is an association with a corporate form. Political speech is “indispensable to decision making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation.” Bellotti, supra, at 777 (footnote omitted). This protection is inconsistent with Austin’s rationale, which is meant to prevent corporations from obtaining “ ‘an unfair advantage in the political marketplace’ ” by using “ ‘resources amassed in the
economic marketplace.’ ” 494 U. S., at 659. First Amendment protections do not depend on the speaker’s “financial ability to engage in public discussion.” Buckley, supra, at 49.
However, if this clown and his enablers want to argue that corporations should not be permitted to exercise their First Amendment rights, then he can start with the New York Times Corporation, CNN, the major networks and their cable affiliates, to include MSDNC. BTW, isn't the Democratic Party incorporated?--Odysseus
Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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