How Much Taxpayer Money Is Wasted By Grandstanding Politicians On Unconstitutional 'For The Children' Laws?

from the way,-way,-way-too-much dept

For quite some time now, we've been pointing out how ridiculous it is that state after state after state passes "for the children" laws which clearly are unconstitutional. These laws are always thrown out by the courts. It's a total waste of taxpayer money, as the state needs to go to court to defend the law, only to have it thrown out (it's even worse when they go on to appeal). The politicians don't care. They just want to pass the law so they can show voters in their district that they're "protecting the children." Who cares if they're not actually protecting any children and actually really just wasting taxpayer money? The latest state to go through this process is Ohio -- and now reporters are finally starting to ask how much are these bogus laws costing taxpayers to defend in court? It probably won't stop politicians from passing these laws, but it's about time the press started asking this question directly to the politicians.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    name, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:06pm


    i agree

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:07pm


    About time.
    The reporters nationally need to get on this and make a huge deal out of it.
    I am sure throughout the whole country it would add up to be a ton.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    RandomThoughts, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Well, they are going to waste our money anyway. Do you really wanting them working on important issues considering the damage they typically do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    James, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    How 'bout "MUST PARENT" laws?

    Heaven forbid these breeders should take responsibility for the spawn they have foisted upon us. Its not the govt's job to parent your child, its yours, next time use a condom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    but it's for the children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jerry L. Howe, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:24pm

    State of Ohio Tobacco Tax .

    I e-mailed my State and Local " Representitives " Huh , Huh , about this tax that they tell me is to fund the children's medical needs .
    For one , why don't they go after the Alcohol Distillers whose products cause countless Severe social problems and deaths on American roads , in American homes , etc . I would elaborate if space would allow .
    For two , George w. Bush's OIL WAR is costing Billions and Billions of taxpayer dollars , not to mention all the young men who are not dying for our freedom , but for Bush's Agenda , do they all think we are stupid , or is it that as indivduals we no longer have any power as it states in the constitution ?????? He seems to have no problem cutting funding for those programs when they reach his desk .

    Jerry L. Howe

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    adam, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:25pm


    don't most officials take an oath to uphold the constitution?

    shouldn't they be tried for perjury then... when they knowingly contradict the constitution with legislation?

    politicians have no f*cking consequences... even when they do f*ck up they get little to no jail time and go back to a private life and a job with one of the companies they "helped out" along the way... i'm sick of it.. if these a**holes screw sh*t up they should suffer real, meaningful conseequences!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    manny, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    Re: How 'bout

    The 1st thing that as to happen is to have a old new idea to take hold " I am responsible for my own actions" It isn't the "MAN" or a Republican or democrat thing but it is a Responsibility thing... Too bad there are a group that has a 75% out of wedlock birth rate (cant blame bush for that) and over 50% drop out rate at 4.5% unemployment it really takes creativity to be unemployed ( I have been there and done that so dont doubt my credentials) been bankrupt once also...

    My ills were all under my control so if someone is telling you that the MAN, Goverment, or a race of people is responsibile for your problems get a life

    Before we go any further I do remember being taken to the High School bathroom and beaten for getting good grades because it was "acting white" like I said been there done that

    there are a few things that will prevent poverty
    Dont get pregnant until you finish school
    Actually graduate from school
    Dont get married until at least age 25

    None of these things are controlled by government

    Emmanuel O. Crawford SSgt USAF (ret)
    Helpdesk Technician GS-9
    A+ Net+ MCP

    You come too late to tell me it cant be done...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:42pm

    I hate 'the children.'

    'The Children' being the way we refer to the entire group of children in the US. Your parents should be protecting you, or they should not be having kids.

    Our system is broken, we need a governmental overhaul to rid us all of the self serving politicians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 12:49pm

    It's not just a State issue. The Federal Government is currently doing the same with healthcare for the children.

    I am so sick of "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!", being the mantra for everything they want to ram down citizens throats. Regardless, of the merits or legitimacy of the program.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 1:06pm

    Re: #1

    circle gets the square

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Leykis101, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 1:54pm

    Re: How 'bout

    manny - "Too bad there are a group that has a 75% out of wedlock birth rate."

    "Dont get pregnant until you finish school
    Actually graduate from school
    Dont get married until at least age 25"

    Heck, don't get pregnant until you are established! I hardly think that the correct time to have a kid is just after graduating school and before entering a money earning career-path. If you CHOOSE to have a kid, have one when you know you can support it. Americans need to realise that kids are not puppies.

    What does marriage have to do with this? How can being married benefit anyone in this day and age, especially when the divorce rate is at an all-time high!

    And as for "Think of the children", that should be the thought taken right before sexual intercourse. You want a kid, thats fine - if you dont want a kid, both persons should use birth-control.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    The Man, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 2:35pm

    If I am The Man why is everybody always keeping me

    A recent study was completed on how to stay out of poverty. 98% of all people who fit the below criteria were not in the poverty level.

    1. Do not have children until you are married.
    2. If you do get married and have children, stay married.
    3. Have a steady job and stay employed. Any job, nothing fancy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Hey Coward, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 2:43pm

    Don't mix the issues!

    Nation health care, esp for kids is NOT the same things as laws designed to infringe on the rights or some people for the sake of others.

    If we could have a national health care system that at least made sure the next generation of Americans gets a fair start, thats great AND its constitutional.

    You can't compare that to a law that says, Person A can't browse the web because under aged person B MIGHT see something inappropriate while trespassing in person A's house... Stuff like that is 100% BS and nothing at all like my 1st example.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Mystified Mind, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 2:49pm


    How about this? - All laws must be reviewed by the (State) Supreme Court prior to going into effect. The purpose of the review could be restricted to 'constitutionality' issues.

    Some idiot politician gets a law passed infringing on a Bill of Rights freedom, the Supreme Court says "no, that restriction is unconstitutional", no more law, somebody sues the pol who sponsored the law for misfeasance or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    boomhauer (profile), Sep 26th, 2007 @ 2:57pm


    did somebody say ron paul?

    amazing thing is he is prolly the only congressman who would have the cojones to vote against a fer the chillren bill stickly on the constitutionaliy of it. of course he would vote against it even if it were const. because it would be spending tax money.

    so lets put him in as president and enjoy the show. Id love to see his nickname switch from Dr. No to Dr. Veto

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Betrayed Beyond Belief, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 3:03pm

    Childrens future lost- for their own sake

    I have been pointing out the danger of the "catch phrase" for over 15 years.

    Overall this problem is rooted in a fundamental break with constitutional law- Equality is for Everyone... not directed towards "Extra protection, help, support" for those we care the most about. What about the people we do not care about... are they not also equal? (old people, disabled people, homeless, or.. hey.. What about men who work their whole lives every day and have it ripped away by laws that do not see the evil of earlier laws?

    (The man who is poisoned by his new wife, for example, cannot fight back, his wife so easily teary eyed, why, that man MUST have been poisoning HIMSELF, so there is no evidence! (and now reverse it.. man poisons woman... No problem- he is going to jail.)) (firsthand, yes)

    The problem is (in essence) Children Become Adults. Adults do not DARE to sue for equality (much like whites dare not sue of equality comparative to minorities, or men sue for equality comparable to women) because it doesnt pull heart strings. It doesnt FEEL right.

    Too bad nobody remembers laws were originally about really onerous injustices of Logic and Equality, not about FEELINGS. Obviously this phenom is just a symptom of the much more dastardly problem.

    If we want our childrens future to be designed for them and THEIR children we had best stop FEELING and start THINKING or China, E.U., and Russia will run us over like an egg on the interstate.

    All Hail Socialism and all it's feelgood dogma! (NOT!)

    A La Genesis:

    "I say, now... It's No Fun... Being an American US Citizen"

    The freest among us is the illegal alien- able to walk in for free health care, a drivers license, handouts, tax free jobs, ability to sell drugs, injure, drunk drive, use the system.. and never pay a penny. Everything is now the opposite of what it should be- the worker is now just a turd to be flushed (financially) when anyone inconvenienced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Nick (profile), Sep 26th, 2007 @ 3:09pm

    Let's list the other grandstanding tactics:

    -to protect us from terrorists
    -fight the war on drugs (Drugs are here to stay)
    -to support the troops (It displays ignorance when people mix this up with ending the war)
    -protect intellectual property (What about current IP law?)
    -to guarantee consumer choice (What about free market economy?)
    -to protect against monopolies (What about oligopolies functioning as cartels? They have same impact)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Hal B, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 3:16pm

    What's this have to do with Technology?

    While this line of conversation is interesting, I wonder what it has to do with Technology? I vist Tech Dirt for just that. I can find these kinds of political arguments and government-bashing rants elsewhere.

    Can we stick to the tech topics that make this site something worth visiting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Nick (profile), Sep 26th, 2007 @ 3:23pm

    Re: What's this have to do with Technology?

    The grandstanding Mike should have mentioned are things like regulating social networking site because of the media frenzied predator cases, violence (freedom of expression/speech) in video games. These are grandstanding tactics with the claim "protect the children" that can have a chilling effect in technological innovation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    bradley stewart, Sep 26th, 2007 @ 5:28pm



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    The infamous Joe, Sep 27th, 2007 @ 4:01am


    They wouldn't do it if it didn't work.

    Maybe we should take a look at the people in America that would approve of an unconstitutional law in the first place. They're undoubtedly the same people who would allow their rights to be taken away in the guise of protection from [insert threat here].

    Education is the cure.

    I'm pretty sure Reality TV is the disease. :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Sep 27th, 2007 @ 5:15am

    Another One

    Saw a bit of news this morning about the politicians wanting to pass a law that would give the government control over what is sold in vending machines in school, instead of the local schools being able to decide.
    Guess what, its to 'protect the children'.
    I will bet you any amount of money that the politician suggesting this knows somebody at the head of some sort of drink or snack place that wants to sell in schools (its a huge industry), and that they will mystically be the one chosen to sell there if that law passes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Just tapping my toes, really, Sep 27th, 2007 @ 6:25am

    An uphill battle when our senators are unaware of the consequences of a guilty plea, or so one says.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Just Me, Sep 27th, 2007 @ 7:54am

    Re; #21 "Blame?"

    Totally agree with you there - they do it because it works. Unfortunately for all of us is the reason it works; people are sheep.
    Some politician, religious figure, celebrity or role model says "We need to do this because ___" and all the sheep out there say "Hey, I like that guy and I like protecting the __ so that must be a great idea!"

    This will only stop when people wake up to the fact that we need to think for ourselves. Government is great, we need them to work for us, but NOT to think for us.

    The moment someone is able to think *for* you they own you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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