Lengthy head notes notwithstanding, the SCOTUS found that corporations are "persons," not people. The same is true of U.S. citizens because they, like corporations, are legal fictions. sj
Man Uses Traffic Ticket to Challenge Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision: “Actually, Officer, I Have a Certificate Of Incorporation In the Glove Box, So the Two Of Us ‘People’ Should Be Allowed To Drive In the Carpool Lane”
A hearty congratulations this morning to one Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, California. We realize it’s only January but as far as we’re concerned this Frieman guy has already won the entire year of 2013 for executing a rather brilliant prank on the textualist wing of the Supreme Court.
His plan was as simple as it was brilliant: Frieman just drove around in one of California’s carpool lanes by himself until he eventually was stopped by police for not having an additional person in the car. (Sidenote: Apparently carpool laws are enforced rather loosely in California. It took Frieman over 10 years of driving around like that before he was finally ticketed.)
Once Frieman was finally pulled over, he handed the officer a certificate of incorporation and voila!! According to the Supreme Court’s own precedent, Frieman suddenly had two “people” in his vehicle. Obviously, the officer still gave him the $481 ticket, so today Frieman is heading to traffic court to argue his case.
While Frieman says he has long opposed the legal community’s treatment of corporations as people, his carpool prank is particularly relevant to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which expanded this construct even further. The Court in that case decided that corporations have the same speech rights as humans under the law, and therefore these corpo-people-hybrid-monsters are allowed to spend as much money as they want to influence elections.
Just in case this doesn’t sound completely insane to you already, keep in mind that the five justices who signed onto the majority in that case are the exact same guys who constantly accuse their more liberal colleagues of twisting around the meanings of words in order to suit their personal agendas. For instance!! In Citizens United, the liberal justices twisted around the meaning of “person” to mean “person” and somehow found that the word ”speech” means “speech.” The textualists, on the other hand, simply looked at the plain meaning of these words and decided that ”person” includes “corporations” and “speech” is the same thing as “money.” Therefore, limiting the amount of cash that, say, Exxon Mobil can spend to influence an election is just as much of a violation of the First Amendment as punishing an actual human being for writing a disagreeable blog post.
Well okey-doke then, Supreme Court! In that case, we’ll be slipping Wells Fargo some roofies so we can get ourselves preggers and collect some serious child support. (Technically Wal-Mart brings in more cash than Wells Fargo but we’re a little too classy for that. )
Anyway, assuming the police officer actually shows up at the traffic court today, the judge will be either need to: (a.) rule that, duh, obviously a corporation is not a person so articles of incorporation don’t count as an additional passenger; or (b) stand by the Supreme Court’s definition of a corporation and therefore publish a totally ludicrous decision holding that people can just strap their corporate documents into the front seat of their vehicle in order to ride in the carpool lane. Either way, hilarity and further appeals are sure to ensue.
-- CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE 3527. The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights. "A statute does not trump the Constitution." People v. Ortiz, (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th at p. 292, fn. 2 Conway v. Pasadena Humane Society (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 163 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v. JERRY ARBERT POOL, C.A. No. 09-10303, IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT (Opinion filed September 14, 2010), On Appeal From The United States District Court For The Eastern District of California A statutory privilege cannot override a defendant's constitutional right. People v. Reber, (1986) 177 Cal.App.3d. 523 [223 Cal.Rptr. 139}; Vela v. Superior Ct, 208 Cal.App.3d. 141 [255 Cal.Rptr. 921], however, "the judiciary has a solemn obligation to insure that the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial is realized. If that right would be thwarted by enforcement of a statute, the state ...must yield." Vela v. Superior Ct., 208 Cal.App.3d. 141 [255 Cal.Rptr. 921 Obviously, administrative agencies, like police officers must obey the Constitution and may not deprive persons of constitutional rights. Southern Pac. Transportation Co. v. Public Utilities Com., 18 Cal.3d 308 [S.F. No. 23217. Supreme Court of California. November 23, 1976.] If evidence of a fact is clear, positive, uncontradicted and of such nature it cannot rationally be disbelieved, the court must instruct that fact has been established as a matter of law. Roberts v. Del Monte Properties Co., 111 CA2d. 69 (1952) If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers. Thomas Pynchon They will do whatever we let them get away with. Joseph Heller
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