8 Jan 2013

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.


  1. Good luck Mr Frieman!

  2. Nice work Mr Frieman!!!

  3. nothing like a good plan coming together!

  4. I appeared on every citation in my college years. I was thrown out of court twice for instructing the judge on the vehicle code - but the citations were thrown out alongside myself. None of my arguments could match Mr. Frieman's brilliance. The judge will probably lecture him, and then dismiss the case to avoid actually ruling on it.

  5. What's in a name? Mr. "Free man" knows... This is AWESOME. Please update!

  6. Hate to say it - I know how they'll rule if pushed.

    The "breathing entity with heart beat" will NOT be counted.

    They will, in fact, ONLY consider the "corporate entity" - 1 "person" -

    Sucks - but I know how they operate.

    Great idea tho! Worth bringing it all up yet again!

  7. Prank? Are you kidding me. A guy who spends 10 years planning out a legal challenge as brilliant as this is clearly not pulling a "prank". This is a legitimate challenge to a treasonous slap in the face to all of us real humans. If you have the power to define a thing, you control it. This is how they made us their paper slaves. That fraudulent "person" ruling, though unlawful as hell, is how they told us they own us, and will enforce it at the point of a gun. This a country under rule of the Mafia, not the rule of law, and those 5 guys sitting around in their bathrobes smoking cigars are the Don's legal team. They want it both ways and will make sure they get it, hiding behind some amped up beef armed with some of those evil "assault weapons."

    I'm really glad you dug this up, but maybe check the junior high vocabulary at the door. A guy with balls this big does not do "pranks".

  8. (Technically Wal-Mart brings in more cash than Wells Fargo but we’re a little too classy for that. )

    That's brilliant.