Patterico's Pontifications

4/15/2010

Colorado Court Revives Campus Concealed Carry Lawsuit

Filed under: Second Amendment — DRJ @ 9:44 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

A Colorado appeals court has opened the door to allowing concealed carry on the University of Colorado campus:

“The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in favor of a group seeking to allow students with concealed gun permits to carry their weapons on campus. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus had argued that a 1994 University of Colorado policy banning concealed weapons violated state gun laws, particularly the Concealed Carry Act of 2003.

The ruling revives a lawsuit that a judge dismissed last year and could affect other Colorado campuses. Colorado State University approved a campus weapons ban similar to CU’s in February.

CU is considering an appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, university spokesman Ken McConnellogue said. CSU spokeswoman Michele McKinney said the university is reviewing the court decision, too. “

To obtain a Colorado concealed carry permit, applicants must be 21 and undergo a background check. The plaintiffs claimed the Colorado Concealed Carry Act prohibits local governments from restricting concealed carry rights and say the court’s decision “vindicated a constitutional right to bear arms.” If the decision is sustained on appeal, I think it means Colorado would join Utah as the only states that allow concealed carry on college campuses.

– DRJ

Wisconsin Judge Rules National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional

Filed under: Judiciary,Religion — DRJ @ 5:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Wisconsin U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb has ruled unconstitutional the National Day of Prayer that was first established by Congress in 1952:

“In a 66-page opinion issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said the holiday violates the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment, which creates a separation of church and state.

“I understand that many may disagree with that conclusion and some may even view it as a criticism of prayer or those who pray,” Crabb said in her opinion. “That is unfortunate. A determination that the government may not endorse a religious message is not a determination that the message itself is harmful, unimportant or undeserving of dissemination.”

The opinion comes in a case filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of self-described “atheists” and “agnostics.”

Here is the opinion and this is the section I think best explains the Court’s reasoning:

“However, recognizing the importance of prayer to many people does not mean that the government may enact a statute in support of it, any more than the government may encourage citizens to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge or practice rune magic. In fact, it is because the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual’s decision whether and when to pray.”

The Court also pointed to the “divisive” impact and exclusionary effect of the National Day of Prayer as reflected in complaints listed at pp. 57-60 of the opinion. The Court then concluded with another example and a list of religious matters that aren’t prohibited:

“The same law that prohibits the government from declaring a National Day of Prayer also prohibits it from declaring a National Day of Blasphemy.

It is important to clarify what this decision does not prohibit. Of course, “[n]o law prevents a [citizen] who is so inclined from praying” at any time. Wallace, 472 U.S. at 83-84 (O’Connor, J., concurring in the judgment). And religious groups remain free to “organize a privately sponsored [prayer event] if they desire the company of likeminded” citizens. Lee, 505 U.S. at 629 (Souter, J., concurring). The President too remains free to discuss his own views on prayer. Van Orden, 545 U.S. at 723 (Stevens, J., dissenting). The only issue decided in this case is that the federal government may not endorse prayer in a statute as it has in §119.”

Religion is too controversial for one judge or one opinion to decide in a way that convinces everyone, and that’s especially true if the judge has to explain what the opinion doesn’t mean as well as what it does.

– DRJ

Lieberman Threatens to Subpoena Obama Administration

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 4:40 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman and ranking minority member Senator Susan Collins threatened to issue subpoenas unless the Obama Administration releases information about the Fort Hood shootings:

“Lieberman said he has had countless conversations with administration officials to seek access to information and witnesses, in order to scrutinize whether the shootings could have been prevented and how Hasan should be tried. He said he has been repeatedly “frustrated” in that effort, and feels obligated to “fulfill my responsibility” as the committee’s chairman.

“I regret to say our efforts to obtain this information necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of this homeland terrorist act have been met with much foot-dragging, very limited assistance and changing reasons,” Lieberman said. “In short, the response of the executive branch to this thoroughly legitimate congressional request for information has been inadequate and unreasonable.

“We do not lightly reach this decision, and we do so only as a last way to obtain this information … We feel we have been patient and respectful in our dealings with the administration.”

Collins was just as stern, noting that Obama initially said he welcomed a congressional investigation into the shootings, and saying the committee “has taken step after step, made offer after offer and bent over backwards” to accommodate the administration’s concerns.”

The White House claims a Congressional inquiry could jeopardize the criminal investigation:

“The administration has maintained that a congressional inquiry into the shootings would jeopardize the criminal case against Hasan, and has launched its own review of the incident. But Lieberman and Collins ridiculed that assertion on Thursday, saying their committee has previously held hearings that did not interfere with prosecutions and that they had pledged to work with the administration to keep certain materials classified.”

Lieberman said following up on the Fort Hood shooting is his job and he will pursue it even if it means he might lose his chairmanship.

– DRJ

Obama: Damn, I’m Humble

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am

Among all his many great traits is a great humility:

United States president Barack Obama says he and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd share several personality traits – one of which is humility.

. . . .

But O’Brien says Mr Obama spoke candidly about their relationship – which has in the past been described as a “meeting of minds”.

“He was quite expansive and quite genuine on what he saw as the commonality and connections between [he and Mr Rudd]. One of which was humility,” O’Brien said.

Via JWF, who reminds us of this classic image demonstrating Obama’s remarkable humility:

Obama Humble

Cue the music:

L.A. Times: Water Rationing Rocks (And Never Mind All Those Broken Water Mains It Causes)

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:18 am

A new report says water rationing is causing Los Angeles area water mains to break:

The Department of Water and Power’s water conservation efforts were blamed today for the sudden increase of water main breaks that damaged numerous homes, businesses and streets in southern California.

As ironic as it may be, it turns out that the rationing program created too much pressure causing enormous stress on the pipes causing them to burst.

The problem is that rationing causes everyone to water their lawns on the same days, causing water pressure to drop, thus subjecting corroded pipes to more cycles of water pressure. “In other words, the maximum water pressure did not change, but the minimum did, and this cyclic pressure created fatigue on corroded pipes.”

That’s from a local CBS station.

How did the L.A. Times cover this story? You will be pleased (and not particularly surprised) to learn that the editors buried the little detail about rationing causing water main breaks. Instead, we get an homage to rationing titled “L.A.’s February water use drops to 31-year low.” The lede emphasizes how well rationing works to conserve water:

Los Angeles has grown by about a million people in the last three decades, but you wouldn’t know it from the way water has been trickling out of taps and sprinklers.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported Monday that water usage in the city reached a 31-year low for the month of February, dropping more than 20% compared with the same period in 2007.

Yay!

The bit about it causing water main breaks? Found aaaaalllllllll the way down in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story.

Hardly worth mentioning, really.

Government intervention in the behavior of markets always causes unintended consequences, some of which (as here) can be very serious. But in Big Media, they like government intervention, so news of any major unintended consequences must be buried.

The agenda requires it.


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2384 secs.