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View Diary: I know you think praying at government events is normal, but it's really not. (302 comments)

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  •  This is a landmine law, that's how. (8+ / 0-)

    A "landmine law" is a term I made up to describe those cases where a more local (in this case State constitution) law is suppressed by the law of a higher jurisdiction (in this case Federal constitution), such that the more local law stays on the books LONG after it stopped being enforced.  It's illegal to enforce the state law so long as the federal law overrides it and says that law is illegal.  However, the state law doesn't go away.  It stays on the books, and in fact most people don't even know it's there.  The entire state population might have moved on to a different position long ago and might not be the sort of population anymore that today would have enacted that law, but they don't repeal the law for two reasons: 1 - They don't see it in action doing anything heinous while it's not legal to enforce it, and 2 - it takes a hell of a lot of effort to get a law changed, and putting in that sort of effort to make a change that exists only on paper with no real world effect right away is a hard political sell.

    So the law stays.  

    And then if the federal law that's suppressing the local law ever changes, that local law sitting on the books that everyone forgot about suddenly springs back into existence again (surprise)! and is used by those who, unlike the majority of the population, still like the way the law used to be and take advantage of the fact that it was laying there in the books all along waiting to be triggered again, like a landmine buried during long forgotten war that's still capable of being set off.

    •  Aren't some states passing laws outlawing abortion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, sidnora, BYw

      … on this very principle? The idea being that while such laws are unenforceable as long as Roe v. Wade remains on the books, at some point there will be a new SCOTUS decision, at which time … ka-boom!

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 01:59:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No need to pass anything. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, BYw

        Most of those states never legalized abortion to begin with. Their "landmine laws" (I like that analogy!) were on the books before Roe was decided, and are still there.

        The laws they've passed since 1973 are all ones that can be enforced under Roe. At this point they are so invasive and so widespread that their practical effect is not much different than if Roe were overturned. But if it ever is overturned, all those pre-1973 statutes would automatically become the law of the land again.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 06:57:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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