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Thread: If Corporations Are People...

  1. #1
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    If Corporations Are People...

    A novel strategy to challenge the notion in court that corporations are people - driving in the car pool lane with corporation papers.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...on-papers?lite

    I hope this creates as big a circus in court as it has the possibility of doing. Especially since to make his point, he has to lose his case.
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  2. #2
    the philosophical pegasus Shadow Dragon's Avatar
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    Agreed. I hope this becomes a circus and long drawn out process. Also, I admit, I laughed at how long it took him to finally get pulled over.
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." - Socrates

  3. #3
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Looks moronic to me. Not novel, not clever. But sure, what's one more bit of stupidity in the court system?
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  4. #4
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Oh, FFS, I'm with rob here. He didn't have "a corporation" in the car with him, he had the legal documents that represent that fictional creation. He could have as legitimately carried another person's drivers' license and claimed they were in the car with him.

    The stoopid, she burns. Has this guy never heard the expression "the map is not the territory?"

    ...and this opinion comes from someone who believes the whole concept of corporations is ebil and would love to see them destroyed.
    I wrote a blog.
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  5. #5
    Delerium ex Ennui Xelebes's Avatar
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    So. . . I guess that brings up the question: what constitutes a corportion?

  6. #6
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
    So. . . I guess that brings up the question: what constitutes a corporation?
    Short answer, an agreed-upon mass delusion. You can't see it or touch it or taste it or feel it or hear it, but all the right people agree it exists. Note the similarity to religion?

    From BLD.
    An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or nation, composed, in some rare instances, of a single person and his successors, being the incumbents of a particular oltice, but ordinarily consisting of an association of numerous individuals, who subsist as a body politic under a special denomination, which is regarded In law as having a personality and existence distinct from that of its several members, and which is, by the same authority, vested with the capacity of continuous succession, irrespective of changes in its membership, either in perpetuity or for a limited term of years, and of acting as a unit or single individual in matters relating to the common purpose of the association, within the scope of the powers and authorities conferred upon such bodies by law. See Case of Sutton’s Hospital, 10 Coke. 32; Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 636, 657. 4 L. Ed. 629; U. S. v. Trinidad Coal Co., 137 U. S. 160, 11 Sup. Ct. 57. 34 L. Ed. 640; Andrews Bros. Co. v. Youngstown Coke Co., 86 Fed. 585, 30 C. C. A. 293; Porter v. Railroad Co., 76 111. 573; State v. Payne, 129 Mo. 468, 31 S. W. 797. 33 L. R. A. 576; Farmers’ L. & T. Co. v. New York, 7 Hill (N. Y.) 2S3; State BL.LAW DICT.(2D ED.)
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    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on peopleís utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  7. #7
    Delerium ex Ennui Xelebes's Avatar
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    None of which negates the plurality of people in that car.

  8. #8
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
    None of which negates the plurality of people in that car.
    What plurality? There was one person and a stack of papers that describe a legal entity - a map, not the territory.
    I wrote a blog.
    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on peopleís utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  9. #9
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
    None of which negates the plurality of people in that car.
    Sure it does. Unless one is given to flights of fancy as being consistent with reality.

    If I had my deceased grandmother's ashes in the car with me, would there be multiple people in the car?

    Or how 'bout this: I have my union card in my pocket--which is representative of a huge group of people--therefore I can use the carpool lane.

    Or this: the spirits of my ancestors are with me always...
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  10. #10
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robeiae View Post
    Sure it does. Unless one is given to flights of fancy as being consistent with reality.

    If I had my deceased grandmother's ashes in the car with me, would there be multiple people in the car?

    Or how 'bout this: I have my union card in my pocket--which is representative of a huge group of people--therefore I can use the carpool lane.

    Or this: the spirits if my ancestors are with me always...
    Precisely.

    It's the same sort of conflation that equates money with wealth, another widely-held map-territory error, and just as likely to lead one off the fairway and into the weeds.
    I wrote a blog.
    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on peopleís utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  11. #11
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Oh, how bout this:

    If I have the Constitution of the U.S. in the car with me, then all of the legislative, judicial, and executive branch officers--as designated in the Constitution--are also in the car with me.

    Someone wake up Lautenberg. He's drooling on the upholstery...
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  12. #12
    Joker Groupie Celia Cyanide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robeiae View Post
    Sure it does. Unless one is given to flights of fancy as being consistent with reality.

    If I had my deceased grandmother's ashes in the car with me, would there be multiple people in the car?

    Or how 'bout this: I have my union card in my pocket--which is representative of a huge group of people--therefore I can use the carpool lane.

    Or this: the spirits of my ancestors are with me always...
    The man in the OP probably does not think any of those things would allow you to drive in the carpool lane. He doesn't think he should be allowed to drive in the carpool lane.

    I have to say, I'm shocked that he lives in California and it took him that long to get pulled over.
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  13. #13
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celia Cyanide View Post
    The man in the OP probably does not think any of those things would allow you to drive in the carpool lane. He doesn't think he should be allowed to drive in the carpool lane.
    Of course. But he thinks he has a valid legal argument. He doesn't. "Corporate personhood" is limited as a legal doctrine. Always has been.

    And note, that doctrine is what allows people to sue corporations. How many of those opposed to it en total would willingly accept giving up the option to sue a company? All those tobacco company lawsuits: up in smoke. Lawsuits against BP and Exxon: gone.

    There are problems with the extent of the doctrine, no doubt. But we take the good with the bad.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
    Learning to run, T'ai Chi style--blogging about running and Eastern philosophy
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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW KVL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celia Cyanide View Post

    I have to say, I'm shocked that he lives in Marin County and it took him that long to get pulled over.
    Fixed slightly

    I grew up near San Rafael and the CHP always seemed pretty strict about enforcing carpool rules. I'm amazed it took 10 years for someone to fine him.
    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

    This Twitter thing.

  15. #15
    The One Ring? Teinz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
    So. . . I guess that brings up the question: what constitutes a corportion?
    It also begs the question; what are people?

  16. #16
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Soylent Green, I would imagine.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
    Learning to run, T'ai Chi style--blogging about running and Eastern philosophy
    Ponds of Happenstance--blogging about politics, economics, and history
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  17. #17
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celia Cyanide View Post
    I have to say, I'm shocked that he lives in California and it took him that long to get pulled over.
    Quote Originally Posted by KVL View Post

    I grew up near San Rafael and the CHP always seemed pretty strict about enforcing carpool rules. I'm amazed it took 10 years for someone to fine him.
    Well, that's what he claims.

    I read his op-ed piece linked to in the article. I sincerely hope he doesn't have a law license...
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
    Learning to run, T'ai Chi style--blogging about running and Eastern philosophy
    Ponds of Happenstance--blogging about politics, economics, and history
    Sailor on the Ponds--tweeting about everything

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    Same-sex marriage and Southern heritage

  18. #18
    I should be writing. Alpha Echo's Avatar
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    Eh. Silly. But to derail...

    Last week, I was in the HOV lane coming home after picking up my daughter from school. Personally, I think it's silly that she counts since we aren't carpooling. She can't drive anyway! But...I'll take advantage of the law.

    Anyway, the other lanes were moving faster, so I switched out of the HOV lane. Just as I passed a cop. He immediately pulled behind me, lights flashing, clearly not seeing my daughter in the back seat.

    Until I told her to turn around and wave to the cop.

    Haha...that lazy cop sitting around collecting county revenue had to go and turn around. He may have missed a real HOV violator.

    Okay. Back to OP.
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  19. #19
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    HOV lanes are stupid, imo. Where's the Equal Protection Clause there?

    /derail
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
    Learning to run, T'ai Chi style--blogging about running and Eastern philosophy
    Ponds of Happenstance--blogging about politics, economics, and history
    Sailor on the Ponds--tweeting about everything

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    Same-sex marriage and Southern heritage

  20. #20
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robeiae View Post
    Oh, how bout this:

    If I have the Constitution of the U.S. in the car with me, then all of the legislative, judicial, and executive branch officers--as designated in the Constitution--are also in the car with me.

    So does that mean you could get government plates for you car? Because that would be cool. You'd also get to stick the tiny motorcade flags on the front and call it "Automobile One." (Or at least One-point-five)
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  21. #21
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    I agree that it seems ridiculous to even try to consider documents a person. As much as I hate the corporation as person rule, I don't think this will really help. In fact, I'd worry that it would hurt because it's so ridiculous of a claim that I imagine a lot of people would think the whole thing is just a person trying to take advantage of the system. I'm not sure I see this as a good way to start a dialogue or challenge the system.

    Btw, don't they have ticket cameras on those things? How did he do this for ten years and never get a ticket?
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  22. #22
    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    I hands down agree with Rob and Don. The court will just rule that he did not have a physical person in the vehicle. Corporate personhood is used discriminately. The court picks and chooses how the law defines it.

    1 USC ß 1
    In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise-- the words "person" and "whoever" include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals;
    This poor old guy isn't bringing any new ideas to the table to discuss.
    Last edited by Gale Haut; 01-07-2013 at 10:38 PM.

  23. #23
    Reinventing Myself Scribhneoir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaitie View Post
    Btw, don't they have ticket cameras on those things?
    Nope. There are ticket cameras on toll roads, but not carpool lanes.

  24. #24
    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    Oh, FFS, I'm with rob here. He didn't have "a corporation" in the car with him, he had the legal documents that represent that fictional creation. He could have as legitimately carried another person's drivers' license and claimed they were in the car with him.
    This, 100%
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  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW cmi0616's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    Oh, FFS, I'm with rob here. He didn't have "a corporation" in the car with him, he had the legal documents that represent that fictional creation. He could have as legitimately carried another person's drivers' license and claimed they were in the car with him.

    The stoopid, she burns. Has this guy never heard the expression "the map is not the territory?"

    ...and this opinion comes from someone who believes the whole concept of corporations is ebil and would love to see them destroyed.
    I'm not saying that this guy shouldn't get a ticket, but it does make you think.

    After all, corporations aren't a physical being. They're an idea. You can't point to a corporation and say "there it is!" You can only point to a building in which the people who work for the corporation do business in. Which, I think, disproves the drivers license argument.

    So, while I can see where the guy is coming from (because, let's face it, our campaign finance laws are profoundly stupid), there are better ways to start up a dialogue and call those laws into question.
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