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Corporate Pool

A man in California has been driving in carpool lanes by himself on purpose, hoping to get a ticket. Why? He had with him the incorporation papers for his company and wants to try a novel defense in court: because California motor vehicle law recognizes corporations as people, he claims that he did indeed have enough “people” in the car to qualify as a carpool.

But what makes this ironic is that he actually wants to lose. His real goal is to get the judge to rule that corporations are not people.

Personally, I don’t think it will work. After all, I wouldn’t qualify as a carpool if I carried around the birth certificate for a second person. But still, you gotta hand it to him for an unprecedented defense.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, his defense didn’t work and he was found guilty. Not a big surprise, but a small part of me hoped.

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7 Comments

  1. Hassan wrote:

    But how do you carry around a corporation if its not for the papers. I think he is up to something here.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Well, the reason they ruled that “corporations are people” is because corporations are made up of people. So I guess you could have to have all the people who make up the corporation with you?

    I agree that he is “up” to something, but maybe not “on” to something.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  3. David Freeman wrote:

    Maybe it’s just the ill-defined nature of semantics but I think a panel of eminent linguists and philosophers should be appointed by the president to address this problem:
    What is the corporeal manifestation of a corporation?

    There are paradoxes associated with each way of viewing this. If the “body” of the corporation is the people, how can a corporation be sold? Clearly, corporations want to have it both ways depending on which way benefits them at the moment.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  4. ThatGuy wrote:

    Lots of good points here. I want to agree with Hassan’s point that the incorporation papers represent a corporation more than a birth certificate represents a person, but I doubt this will work, as interesting as it is.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  5. Don wrote:

    Doesn’t it say that it is his corporation? Takes only one person to form an LLC, so all the people from the corporation might have well been inside his vehicle. I love it, personally. It’s a good poke if not a true prod.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  6. yossarian wrote:

    I think the papers complaint make sense; however, assuming that it is a single member LLC, and he is the member then he is in the car both as a private citizen, and a corporation, thus 2 persons are in the car. If it is a multi member corporation, then it could be argued that the corporation was not in the vehicle.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  7. Ralph wrote:

    The issue has already been resolved on this website some time ago. Corporations are NOT people. People get busted! http://politicalirony.com/2012/12/21/and-justice-wept/
    Now if we can only get the Supremes back to reality.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink