In Which I Am Righteously Vindicated


Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Where in the Constitution is your right to buy a cat from a pet store, get bored with it, then throw it outside to be run over by a car?Report

    • @Jaybird, that would be your right to own property and the state’s inability to take it from you without just compensation, explicated in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

      At common law back in Ye Merrie Olde Englande, pets, livestock, and other animals were considered mere chattel, and you can do with your chattel as you please. So if you wanted to take an absolutist view of property rights, then you should be able to toss Miss Kitty under a passing Peterbilt if you should so please — provided you don’t damage the Peterbilt in the process — and the state ought not say “boo” about it.

      This does not mean I condone throwing cats under cars by any means whatsoever. Nor do I really think that a statute criminalizing animal cruelty constitutes a legislative taking of property; I’m not that pure of a libertarian. But, you asked, so there’s your answer.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        @Transplanted Lawyer, oh, the Amendments don’t mean *THAT*.

        I mean, a literal reading of the 1st Amendment would make McCain-Feingold unconstitutional.

        A literal reading of the 2nd would make it unconstitutional to ban an Uzi.

        A literal reading of the 8th would make waterboarding unconstitutional.

        Try again, hippie.Report

        • @Jaybird, I think McCain-Feingold was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court agreed with me on that one (for once).

          I think it is unconstitutional to ban Uzis.

          I think it is unconstitutional to waterboard prisoners.

          Peace. Love. Flowers.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    That is indeed a really stupid one. But notice that it’s currently two removes from becoming reality:

    First, it’s still under consideration by the Commission of Animal Control and Welfare.

    Second, the commission have no power to do more than make recommendations. Even if they approve, it has to be voted on by the elected Board of Supervisors before becoming a law.

    And both of these stages require public meetings to be held, so the chances of pet stores disappearing from SF are IMHO not high. If it’s OK with you, I’m going to worry more about citizens being kidnapped and sent to other countries to be tortured than about not being able to buy a hamster and feed it diet coke.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    My favorite involves cutting bagels into quarters, instead of merely halves.

    And effective immediately, no more runs to the doughnut shop before meetings and conferences held by city workers. Instead, city employees must use guidelines created by the Health Department when ordering food for meetings.

    Examples include cutting bagels into halves or quarters so people can take smaller portions and serving vegetables instead of potato chips.

    (Where in the Constitution is your right to a whole bagel?)Report

  4. Avatar Aaron says:

    This is only the tip of the iceberg… the SF government loves banning random things for ‘your own good’ This is just the first in a long line of stupid bans. I’m glad I live in the East Bay.Report

  5. Avatar Mike Farmer says:

    There was a restuarant owner in Phillie on the radio this morning talking about his fine for wearing too much jewelry in his kitchen. The city was harrassing him because he put up sign asking customers to speak English when ordering — but they actually have a too-much- jewelry law on the books. He had a medallion around his neck and a bracelet given to him by his mother.Report