Jonathon Friedman had his day in a San Francisco court, then Jurist Frank Drago had his say, declaring Friedman guilty. The case centered on a sheaf of corporation papers that Friedman used to make a statement about corporate 'personhood.' Driving in a carpool lane in the Bay Area, Friedman was pulled over for not having at least two people in the car. His response was to show the officer his business papers and, citing US Supreme Court decisions that have affirmed that corporations are people, said he indeed did have two people in the car and so was, in fact, carpooling.
The case went before the traffic referee, and the officer who issued the ticket even showed up to defend it. Friedman's attorney, Ford Greene, pointed to the "constitutionally vague" correlation between the California vehicle code that defines a person as "natural persons and corporations" and the carpool lane signs that demands cars in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane be occupied by "two or more persons."
The jurist wasn't interested in all that "novel" malarkey. Drago said, "Common sense says carrying a sheath of papers in the front seat does not relieve traffic congestion," then declared Friedman guilty. Now, we're not constitutional law scholars, but it's been a while since we heard "common sense" used as the sole litmus test for extracting the intention of a law and assigning guilt – and we wonder if that's the same common sense that was used to declare corporations people in the first place.
No matter, Friedman said he expected to lose, and that he'll be appealing the ruling within 30 days.