SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – A San Rafael man pulled over for driving alone in the carpool lane is fighting the traffic ticket on the grounds that he was riding with a corporation.
The ‘corporations are people’ debate was set off by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that allowed unprecedented corporate spending on political elections.
On October 3rd, activist Jonathan Frieman decided that he’d extend that notion to his commute, claiming incorporation documents as a carpool buddy. A explanation that did not get him off the hook for a ticket of nearly $500.
“Corporations are imaginary entities, and we’ve let them run wild,” Friedman has stated, according to a San Jose Mercury News article. “Their original intent…was to serve human beings. So I’m wresting back that power by making their personhood serve me.”
However, section 470 of the California vehicle code makes no distinction between a person and a corporation, stating “’Person’ includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.”
Frieman was due in court Monday. He said he is prepared to appeal an ruling against him all the way to the California Supreme Court.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)