Jonathan Frieman, a 56-year-old San Rafael resident and self-described social entrepreneur, failed to convince a Marin County Superior Court jurist Monday after he argued that he was not alone when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over in October while driving in the carpool lane.
Instead, Frieman admitted that he had reached onto the passenger’s seat and handed the officer papers of incorporation connected to his family’s charity foundation.
So using Mr. Frieman’s math, one driver plus one stack of legal papers equals one corporation, not to mention the right to drive with impunity in the carpool lane.
It also raises the legal, if not the existential question, what does the word “alone” really, mean?
By Frieman’s estimation, if corporations are indeed persons as was first established in the 1886 Supreme Court case Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. and he offered evidence that a corporation was traveling inside his vehicle - riding shotgun, of course - then two people were in his car.
Despite Mr. Frieman’s creative take on Citizens United, classical arithmetic carried the day as court Jurist Frank Drago declared, “Common sense says carrying a sheath of papers in the front seat does not relieve traffic congestion. And so I’m finding you guilty.”
Corporations? Your personhood struggle continues.