‘If Corporations Are People, Can They Ride In The Carpool Lane?’

Kudos to Jonathan Frieman, the California political activist who has come up with a clever way to challenge corporate personhood. From Huffington Post:

The legal classification of corporations as people allows for a whole host of things, from making lawsuits simpler to justifying why Goldman Sachs was able to donate some $4.7 million to American political campaigns during the last election cycle.

But if corporations are people, can one of them ride in your car? And if so, does that qualify you to use the carpool lane?

That’s the question Northern California political activist Jonathan Frieman hoped to have answered when he was pulled over driving in the carpool lane last October on Highway 101 in Marin County. The police officer issued Frieman a nearly $500 ticket for driving by himself in the carpool lane, and Frieman countered that he wasn’t solo because he had stack of documents in the car representing a corporation he had co-founded.

It turns out that Frieman, who has a history of snarkily causing trouble in local politics, had more on his mind than just trying to worm his way out of paying a ticket. The 59-year old San Rafael resident is hoping to use this case a way to challenge the whole idea of corporate personhood.

While corporate personhood has been settled law in the United States for nearly 200 years, it recently became a flashpoint issue after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowed corporations to donate unlimited amounts of cash to political campaigns.

“The case is kind of complex. What I want [the judge] to do is say ‘no’ so that I can appeal,” Frieman explained to Mill Valley Patch, noting that he could foresee the issue going as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. “I don’t want corporations to be defined as persons.”…

[continues at Huffington Post]

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