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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

The law and the jungle

Gloom with a view

Government is nothing if not creative when comes to finding ways to separate us from our money. You get a good view in New Hampshire, you're gonna pay for it:

"A piece of land on a side of a hill that overlooks a 50-mile or 100- mile radius is going to be worth more than the same piece of land overlooking an industrial complex or a landfill," he said.

The religious court

If Samuel Alito is confirmed, that will mean the Supreme Court has five Catholics and two Jews. Those too young to remember what a big deal JFK's Catholicism was won't quite appreciate the significance of this. For those still feeling the sting of one form of prejudice or another, it's a hopeful sign that we eventually move beyond such nonsense.

Disorderly application of the law

What the members of the Westboro Baptist Church do at military funerals is despicable; may they be consigned to the lowest circle of hell. But as a legal matter, should they be really be treated differently from other protestors who protest at other types of events? Yes, charge them with disorderly conduct if it applies. But making such conduct a felony at military funerals and keeping it a misdemeanor at other events doesn't seem very much like equal treatment under the law.

No intent, no crime

See if you agree that this is a case of overzealous prosecution. Two Marion County children engaged in sexual activity with each other other from the time the boy was 9 and the girl was 6 until the time the boy was 14 and the girl was 11. Now the boy, 17 and a high school student, is being charged with child molesting for that activity, even though state law says children that young can't legally consent, which should mean that they can't form the proper intent to commit a crime, either.

Miered in cronyism

Virginia Postrel, someone whose opinions are always worth considering, pinpoints exactly what's wrong with the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court:

Is Miers the write candidate?

Because of the profession I've chosen, I probably judge people too harshly on their writing ability. If they can't write clearly, I have always suspected that they can't think clearly, either. That's not always so. There are some very bright people who don't even read very much, let alone work on their writing skills. But in the case of a Supreme Court nominee, there's a writing-thinking link we cannot ignore.

Without a prayer

Can't blame this one on John Roberts. On the other hand, it's probably beyond Harriet Mires' constitutional reasoning abilities.

Government thugs

"Eminent domain" is way too civilizied a term for some of this stuff. It's just outright theft, plain and simple.

Killing states' rights

I'm not crazy about Oregon's assisted-suicide law. For one thing, it's dangerous to do anything to make suicide an easy first option instead of a desperate last one; that's the wrong thing to add to the culture, considering how many teens consider suicide and don't need that much encouragement. For another, inviting physicians to participate takes that profession where we shouldn't want it to go.

Wetland is still our land

We'll see this term if the Roberts court is willing to back off from the outrageous devastation of property rights in the Kelo decision.

The justices agreed to take up claims that regulators have gone too far by restricting development of property that is miles away from any river or waterway.