California court: corporations aren’t passengers

Called it: when you ride with a corporation, you ride alone. Or, corporations are people, but a briefcase full of papers isn’t a person. Or, a briefcase full of papers is a person, but not for the purposes of California’s high-occupancy vehicle laws. Or, corporations are people, and could be passengers, but California’s high-occupancy vehicle laws merely requires a bigger briefcase or more papers.

The analogy between corporations and people is imprecise, and of course it isn’t the whole picture. Corporations aren’t people, but they don’t have to be in order to fall under the ambit of some of the Constitution’s most important protections. What the California court did here was little more than to invite the accused to appeal his insignificant conviction, to play out his legal theory in the appeals courts. I give it very little chance of success, but it’s possible. What’s really important is that my prediction as to the outcome of this case was right.


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