American Elephants


Good Intentions: Really Stupid Regulations. by The Elephant's Child
May 26, 2012, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Law, Sports | Tags: ,

The Justice Department promised on Thursday to be “flexible” in enforcing the new rules that force public pools to buy and install lifts or ramps for the disabled, Pool operators have said this is an invitation to a flood of lawsuits against small business.

This marked a possible retreat for the department which earlier had ruled that under the Americans With Disabilities Act, all pools open to the public would  have to invest in elevators, ramps or lifts to accommodate the disabled.  Members of Congress threatened action, and earlier this month Justice extended the stay into next year. On Thursday, the department went further, saying the rules apply chiefly to new pools, while existing pools will only need to comply if it’s easy and cheap to do so.

“Readily achievable means that it is easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense” the department said.  “This is a flexible, case-by-case analysis, with the goal of ensuring that ADA requirements are not unduly burdensome, including to small business.”

The reprieve comes just before the Memorial Day weekend, which marks the traditional opening day for many outdoor pools. So they can cross their fingers and open?

“It is obvious that the Obama administration is quickly backtracking after giving little thought to the real-world impact of this one-size-fits-all mandate,” said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) who had tried to pass legislation halting the mandate.

There is as yet no amendment removing the language, which means it is still an active part of the bill. As usual, people with good intentions make silly regulations, because they cannot allow free people to make their own business decisions.

Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Minority Whip burbled: “For many Americans with disabilities, swimming pools are an important source of physical activity and emotional comfort.” Rolling back the rules, he said”would constitute a serious setback to American with disabilities, including many of our veterans —and I want you to think about this— many of our veterans were wounded while serving our nation overseas.”

And just think about it, many public pools have no disabled people among their customers, nor in their districts. It is a characteristic of the left that they believe themselves so clever that they can make wise rules for a huge country of some 330,000,000 people. Their intentions are so good, and the results of their hubris make such a mess of things.



Does the Rule of Law Mean Something or Not? by The Elephant's Child

Do you remember the New Black Panther case?  On the day that Barack Obama was elected president, there were pictures all over the news of two very large black men in black berets and jackboots, standing at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia, brandishing nightsticks and intimidating voters and poll watchers.

The Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs.  In an essay in the Washington Times, J. Christian Adams says that he and other Justice attorneys “diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges.  Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case. Mr. Adams says:

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney. (…)

Based on my firsthand experiences, I believe the dismissal of the Black Panther case was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers. The dismissal raises serious questions about the department’s enforcement neutrality in upcoming midterm elections and the subsequent 2012 presidential election.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ’s skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.

This is a truly disturbing accusation by a lawyer who served as a voting rights attorney at the Justice Department until this month.  Do read the whole thing.

Victor Davis Hanson has also noticed, as have many others, that we have seldom if ever “seen such a systematic attack on our framework of laws at the present assault from the executive branch.” Federal Judge Martin Feldman ruled that Obama’s moratorium on drilling in the Gulf was unconstitutional, but the administration plans to try to reinstate it anyway, in spite of the damage to the Gulf Coast economy.

The president’s order to BP to establish a $20 billion payout fund, is clearly illegal without a court order or legislation, as is the administration decision to ignore past legal precedent capping oil-company liability.  Or there is the executive order that overturned established bankruptcy laws, the legally determined order of creditors, and put his own campaign donors first in line.

Obama plans to sue Arizona for their laws duplicating unenforced federal law. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, produced a video advising workers that they have a right to be paid fairly, whether documented or not.  Illegal is fine, unfair pay is not.  If you don’t like the law, just ignore it.

This is very serious stuff, and a casual hostility to the rule of law —by lawyers!   Do read the whole thing.




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