“Corporations (and Soylent Green) are People” is one of the more stupid Supreme Court rulings. And that’s saying something.

When Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, Calif., was pulled over for driving alone in the carpool lane, he argued to the officer that, actually, he did have a passenger. He waved his corporation papers at the officer, he told NBCBayArea.com, saying that corporations are people under California law.
[…]
A carpool lane is two or more persons per vehicle, he said. The definition of person in California’s Vehicle Code is “natural person or corporation.”



  1. kjb434 says:

    Brilliant!!!

  2. Dallas says:

    LOL. Nice move.

    “Corporations are People” – another gift to society from the Teapublican Party.

    • JCD's Love Child says:

      Great. There’s always one idiot in every crowd intent on making sure everyone know that is better than . Usually, they’re interchangeable between the Democrat and Republican parties, because they’re the two biggest douchebag political parties in this country.

      Sigh.

      • Dallas says:

        Open your mind, Love Child honey bunch.

        By a 5-to-4 vote along ideological lines, the majority Supreme Court (Teabagger appointed as corporate lackeys) voted in favor of the rightwing nonprofit group Citizens United, which is funded by corporations.

        Yes, Corporation are now people but only when it suits them. They can also donate infinite money to campaigns. An everlasting gift by the Teapublicans for now and future generations.

        Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Antonin G. Scalia, Samuel A. Alito, and Clarence Thomas. Justice John Paul Stevens dissented, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotamayor.

        • Mextli says:

          Don’t forget the UAW since they are covered by the same ruling.

          • Dallas says:

            Well, having organizations as UAW considered as ‘people’ does not make me like this ruling any better.

            I only support people as being considered people and not surprised you would support this ridiculous ruling.

          • Mextli says:

            Don’t talk like an ass. I never stated I supported anything.

            It’s knee jerk liberals like you that, when discussing Citizens United, always mention corporations but never unions since unions give tons of money to the dumbcraps.

            Just substitute unions for corporations in your diatribe above.

          • Dallas says:

            Agreed.

            Those damn unions and their deep pockets and lobbyists. They use their purchased political clout to influence laws evade taxes, obtain favorable offshore tax evasion laws and domestic tax loopholes.

            Thank goodness we have corporations to offset these greedy bastards.

            There. Happy?

          • Gwad his own self says:

            That’s because only a few hundred unions are affected (because they’re so rare these days) but a million or so corporations are affected (enabled.)

            Got it now?

        • Mark says:

          I wish people would read the opinion before commenting on it. It really is unfortunate that so much disinformation and confusion surrounds this opinion, which at its core is an affirmation of the First Amendment prohibition of restrictions of free speech rights of people and ASSOCIATIONS of people, whether corporations, or unincorporated associations. Do any of you really have a problem with free speech?

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            Highlighting the fact that Corporations have always been “people” so that they could sue and be sued.

            The killer as you almost directly state is the MONEY = SPEECH with First Amendment protections. That was the bigger “change” the Court created by OVERTURNING 100 years of precedent.

            One of my favorite lines ever: “There is no evidence that money corrupts elections.” Ha, ha. Thats how IN YOUR FACE the Sup Ct Majority Lackey’s are. Almost like….. they’ve been bought and paid for.

            Our government is corrupt from the top down. From Obama… right thru congress….. even the “good ones” and Obama was/is certainly Head and Shoulders above everyone the Pukes have and had to offer….. and yet still corrupt.

            Reality Bites…. and Bites Hard.

            Embrace the Horror.

    • spsffan says:

      Just to inform all of y’as, the Supreme Court didn’t just decide that corporations are people with the Citizens United ruling. The Supremes have had their collective heads up their asses since 1886.

      See: Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. This case established the corps as people nonsense.

      Of course, it continues, unabated, but Citizens United relied on long, long standing precedent and wasn’t just pulled out of the asses of the current crew.

  3. Jamie says:

    Did he get away with it though?

  4. Usagi says:

    But he only had papers, not the corporation. Just because I have my wife’s dress in the glove box (long story) doesn’t mean I have my wife in the car.

  5. Joe Friday says:

    I thought I was going crazy trying to figure this out until I WATCHED THE STORY! So thanks Uncle Dave for NEGLECTING to post IMPORTANT details. (Yes, it was said. But it’s the WAY it was said.)

    It would seem that Jonathan Frieman (the guy in the story) is basing his argument that his corporate PAPERS is a person and therefore qualifies as a second person in the vehicle. The story here just says he waived his corporate papers at the officer as if the papers themselves were a license or something. That’s VERY MISLEADING!

    Once it’s a little more clear just exactly what PHYSICALLY constitutes (as in “makes up”) a “corporation” I don’t think Jonathan Frieman will have a legal argument. Nice try though, but it’s still bullshit.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Thats plain stoopid. Corporations in addition to being persons for certain legal processes are also “legal fictions.” The assets of a Corporation are not THE corporation.

      Not that hard.

      • George says:

        Exactly.

        Also remember that the “government” is also a legal fiction. It only exists in the minds of people.

        I recall a case where a police officer who was head of a SWAT team was charged with illegal possession of a machinegun that he had taken home with him and kept in his issued squad car. The ATF argued that the gun was registered to the police department, and so when the cop had it at home, it was illegally possessed. The defense argued that the cop could possess the gun in his role as lead of the SWAT team and employment by the police department. ATF said only the department could possess the gun.

        The judge, I think it was 9th circuit Judge Kosinski, very wisely wrote that the “department” really only exists as a concept, and that all actions of it, and in fact all government, can only be made through agents of it. There was no real “department” to possess the gun, all possession is through agents of the legal fictions we devise.

        So, the point is that a corporation is not “really” a person. Papers only support the assertion that a legal fiction known as a corporation exists. Only real-life people can act on behalf of a corporation (the concept is agency) and so the only part of a corporation that can ride in a car are it’s agents. Agents of a corporation are the only part of it that counts for the carpool lane.

      • Grammar Police says:

        You need to be a little more clear when criticizing. You say “Thats” but don’t say WHAT is “stoopid”.

        You might also like to know that the word is correctly spelled “stupid” despite your attempt at some kind of double meaning by intentionally being stupid and incorrectly spelling it. (Could it be that you never advanced beyond the third grade?)

        I’d also like to point out the missing apostrophe in “Thats” since it’s a contracted word from “that is” and should be spelled, “that’s”. But I’ll cut you a break since that may have been a typo – or just another “stoopid” oversight!

        (I’m sure you, and probably quite a few others didn’t even see the larger meaning there EITHER! You probably think it has something to do with spelling.)

  6. CPBrown says:

    The issue is *not* whether corporations are “people”. The issue is should the government be allowed to discriminate against “people” no matter how they are organized (say in a corporation).

    Anybody interested in a free people should welcome any restrictions on the governments ability to control/restrict the actions of any grouping of citizenry.

    • Mark says:

      Thank you CPBrown, you hit it on the head. As far as I know, and I’m only an attorney, not a ‘Constitutional Law Professor,” animals and machines can’t incorporate, only people have that privilege. Corporations can own all or part of other corporations, but again, those corporations are ultimately made up of people. Why are so many people so dead set on restricting free speech anyway? Afraid we wouldn’t like the answer to that.

      • kmfix says:

        Corporations aren’t people until Texas executes one.

      • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

        The Mark of Cain so ignorantly says he is an attorney and “Corporations are “organized people.”

        How did America even function when the “speech” of Corporations was restricted? What a shill: corporations can be made people with free speech rights or not and you can compare how the two different societies operate.

        What do we have now except a few Corporate Denizens contributing MILLIONS of dollars that have “taken over” the electoral process. Not completely… not yet. Just give them time.

        Idiot Mark will champion this as free speech. Its not free speech==it is secret speech as in quid pro quo FRAUD–the selling of political office for the money to gain it. Just LOOK FER CHRIST’S SAKE.

        What a dolt.

      • CrankyGeeksFan says:

        I think there needs to be a distinction made between a financial transaction – a purchase, payment or donation, etc. – that to me is freedom of “association” or assembly; and that of true speech- words spoken, books written, music played, electronic broadcasts, etc.

        Question: Can an employee-less subsidiary – a foreign entity in another state, for example – of a corporation make political donations?

        Another big problem after Citizens United is the lack of transparency in determining who or what is making the donations. If a corporation, non-profit or charity (I think that they should be considered people, too), lobbying firm, government contractor, labor union, etc. wants to donate then, fine. Just make the amount, name, and contact information just as identifiable as that for a donation made by a private individual.

        Get as much money as possible out of the political process. A campaign for public office has to have a spending limit regardless if the money is donated or is the candidate’s own money.

        Another question: If the corporations are people, will the “corporations” be able to somehow vote?

      • Fred says:

        Wait wait wait….”corporations can own all or part of other corporations”…that’s not news, but this is the first time I’ve considered it in the context of “corporations are people, too!”…

        So corporate acquisitions are a form of legally sanctioned slavery, then? And here I thought we’d outlawed slavery…

  7. sargasso_c says:

    I really have to start my own corporation and start blaming it for bad things I do.

  8. dusanmal says:

    So many comments and only one sane: Mark. Supreme Court decision was on the specific issue of rights defined in the first amendment. For that purpose Corporations must be treated equally as a single person. That decision states nothing about jail or car lanes. Enough spin and nonsense.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Why “must they” douche anal?

      I spotted Mark as the biggest idiot poster on this thread. The perfect trifecta of stupidity will be when Liberty Loser chimes in with his hearty agreement as well….. AND as always, he as you, won’t be able to verbalize WHY Corps should be given the rights of “natural persons.”

      Because, you know: “Money doesn’t corrupt the political process.”

      Silly Hoomans. Cutting their own throats while they caw for attention.

  9. Glenn E. says:

    So all one has to do is file as a “corporation” to get all kinds of perks? Where do I sign up? What’s it cost? Does it get one’s corporate self out of Jury Duty?

    This will be a loophole that state’s will start burning the midnight oil to close. They’ll probably just make it harder (or impossible) to list oneself as a corporation. By requiring a million dollar income or something.

    • Mark says:

      Glenn, the “perks” are the reason people have been incorporating for several hundred years. Are you just waking up to this now?

  10. MikeN says:

    Let’s shut down MSNBC and New York Times, or regulate their speech. They are corporations so clearly have no protection under the First Amendment.

    • Captain Obvious says:

      You would have proactive if you included FOX news or the Premiere Networks. Now you’re just being obvious.

      • MikeN says:

        What is Premiere Networks? Yea it was obvious. The typical fan of Fox News is not the ones whining about this ruling.

  11. MikeN says:

    If the California VEHICLE Code says natural person or corporation, then I think he is in good position to win.

    He would lose on the technicality that a corporation’s papers are not the same as the corporation.

    • orchidcup says:

      From The Book of Knowledge:

      Corporations as persons in the United States

      As a matter of interpretation of the word “person” in the Fourteenth Amendment, U.S. courts have extended certain constitutional protections to corporations. Opponents of corporate personhood seek to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit these rights to those provided by state law and state constitutions.

      The basis for allowing corporations to assert protection under the U.S. Constitution is that they are organizations of people, and that people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. In this view, treating corporations as “persons” is a convenient legal fiction that allows corporations to sue and to be sued, provides a single entity for easier taxation and regulation, simplifies complex transactions that would otherwise involve, in the case of large corporations, thousands of people, and that protects the individual rights of the shareholders as well as the right of association.

      Generally, corporations are not able to claim constitutional protections that would not otherwise be available to persons acting as a group. For example, the Supreme Court has not recognized a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for a corporation, since that right can be exercised only on an individual basis. In United States v. Sourapas and Crest Beverage Company, “[a]ppellants [suggested] that the use of the word “taxpayer” several times in the regulations requires that the fifth-amendment self-incrimination warning be given to a corporation.” The Court did not agree.

      Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010, upholding the rights of corporations to make political expenditures under the First Amendment, there have been several calls for a U.S. Constitutional amendment to abolish Corporate Personhood.

      The Citizens United majority opinion makes no reference to corporate personhood or to the Fourteenth Amendment.

      I hope this clears everything up. :)

      • Mark says:

        Spot on orchidcup. The opinion is founded on the right of people to associate, and does not equate a corporation with a living, breathing person.

        • LibertyLover says:

          And that has always been my feelings as well.

          Where is the line drawn between allowing a group of people to speak with one voice and not?

          Two people? 20 people? 200 people? 20,000 people?

          We currently elect representatives (and unfortunately, senators) by direct election to allow these individuals to speak on our behalf. What is the difference between that and choosing someone else to speak on our behalf for non-governmental issues (i.e., financial).

          Where I have a hard time is seeing the SuperPACs putting so much money into an election. My initial response is, “Hell, No!” But I can’t seem to find where the line should be drawn. So I deal with it.

          • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

            You “can’t see” where the line was drawn for 100 years as in they (Super Pacs) can’t do it? (sic as Super Pacs are “new” and I think the restriction on Corps was as to amount, not a bar or not).

            Can’t see.

            Must be a blind MF’er as well as stupid.

          • LibertyLover says:

            You better get yourself some new bait. Your trolling skills are weakening.

          • MikeN says:

            The restriction was they are not allowed to say anything about a candidate within 60 days of an election. Not sure how Michael Moore got away with Fahrenheit 9/11 given that it too was done through a corporation. The government stated that books can be banned, and that was enough to clinch the ruling by the Supreme Court.

  12. dcphill says:

    Well, anyway, at least I know that soilent green is us.
    Anybody remember Edward G. Robinson waiting in the dieing room listening to Beethoven’s 6th Symphony?

  13. Captain Obvious says:

    I wonder if they go to Makeout Point and park?

    • B. Dog says:

      Uh, does the corporation make those cool blowup dolls?

      • Captain Obvious says:

        I assume he would just take matters into his own hands. But obviously you have more imagination.

  14. observer says:

    Would having a second person’s birth certificate in the car qualify as having a second person in the car?

    (Here come the “Obama birth certificate” jokes.)

  15. spsffan says:

    Maybe they can get a jury of their peers: Microsoft, General Electric, Bank of America, General Motors, BNSF, Colgate-Palmolive, AT&T, Honeywell, Coca-cola, Randon House, Exxon, Weyerhauser…..

    Of course, if he was driving a BMW the cop could have just given him a ticket for not using his turn signal and left it at that.

  16. Gildersleeve says:

    >>But before he can make grand proclamations, the officer who ticketed him must show up to court. Otherwise, his ticket may be thrown out. <<

    Game, set and match.

  17. Thomas says:

    IMO, this simply another reason CA should change the carpool lane law to “two or more individuals with a valid CA driver’s license”. That would both eliminate this silly argument about corporations being people and soccer moms that drive in the carpool lane with their child. If the point is to reduce traffic, the only way to do that is to reduce the number of people that potentially could have been driving.

  18. MikeN says:

    Original campaign finance law was introduced by Tillman because he felt the Republican corporations were too favorable to blacks.

  19. Voice of reason says:

    This is like having someone’s birth certificate with you and saying the actual person is in the car. The corporation would be the people, assets, buildings, etc, which will not fit in the car.

  20. JVM TX says:

    Nice Try. But no.

    The incorporation papers are not the corporation .

    Your birth certificate is not you.