Just over a month ago, Brandy Bottone was pulled over for driving in the HOV lane. Her argument to fight the ticket, in light of the recent reversal of Roe v. Wade, was that her unborn child was in fact, now a person, and that meant she could use the carpool lane. Texas law agreed, and Bottone was released from that ticket. Buttone went about using the HOV lane again, and NBC News reports the Texas woman has been ticketed, again, for the same offense.
The first time Bottone was issued a citation, she was traveling in the HOV or carpool lane on U.S. Highway 75 near I-635. She fought the ticket, with the core of her argument (and one of the main issues behind the abortion fight) being fetal personhood. As my colleague Steve DaSilva explained “ Bottone’s reasoning is that Texas’s abortion ban amounts to the state legally recognizing fetal personhood. And if a fetus is a person, the pregnant Bottone has two people in her vehicle when she’s driving in the HOV lane.”
Her argument was successful enough that the case was dismissed by the courts. The Dallas County DA’s office confirmed as much to NBC News. But the DA’s office says she’s been given another ticket that’s currently pending. While Bottone has seemingly refused to speak to any media outlets about the second ticket, she did speak to local news station Dallas Morning News about the incident.
Bottone says she was traveling on U.S. Highway 75 when she was stopped. She said this second encounter with police had a “comical feel.” And it certainly may have felt that way to her. From Dallas Morning News:
“‘You again?’” she recalled one deputy saying. He said he didn’t need to explain to her what the ticket was about because she already knew.
“So when are you going to have this baby?” he asked.
“Tomorrow,” she replied.
“Oh, good luck,” he said before she received her ticket.
There’s no way police couldn’t have known that her first ticket was dismissed. But TxDOT claims that one ticket’s dismissal has nothing to do with another one. “TxDOT has no role in law enforcement or prosecution decisions. The dismissal of one citation has not affected the department’s relationship with law enforcement” a TxDOT official said to Dallas Morning News. Bottone has since given birth to a healthy baby girl. With Bottone having successfully proved that the law was on her side with the first ticket, one wonders if she will be successful in getting the second thrown out.