Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”     Samuel Adams

September 1, 2007

Another Strike Against Mike Huckabee

by Doug Mataconis

He supports a Federal law banning smoking in public places.

Governor, do me a favor, please read this document, especially this part, then read this Amendment, and this one.

Now, tell me, where exactly does the Congress of the United States get the authority to regulate smoking in public places ?

TrackBack URI:
Read more posts from
• • •


  1. Simply Governor Busybody being his usual busybody self.

    Comment by Ken H — September 1, 2007 @ 5:56 pm
  2. What are you talking about? This is just another example of the founders’ ignorance. Did they ever think about the children? Hmmm… sometimes I wish a candidate would arise that were more concerned with allowing individuals to make their own choices instead of forcing irrational rules and laws on millions of people.

    Comment by somebody — September 1, 2007 @ 7:57 pm
  3. This is going to be fun. Congress gets the authority under the commerce clause. A federal smoking ban is constitutional because it affects commerce in the following ways:

    1. All the smoke breaks throughout the U.S. reduce overall productivity and impact interstate and foreign commerce.

    2. Smoking outdoors in public places impacts interstate commerce because the wafting of second hand smoke causes drivers to briefly turn their heads. Drivers that smoke tend to become distracted and slow down and/or stop to take smoke breaks, thus reducing the efficiency of commerce.

    3. A ban on public smoking will stop rednecks from hooking up thereby decreasing the welfare population throughout the states.

    4. Children who smoke second hand smoke grow up to be less effective workers throughout the several states.

    5. Tobacco is really a weed that travels in interstate commerce. We already ban one weed, we may as well ban more?

    6. If everyone stopped smoking in public places, the shift to smokeless tobacco and rise in slip and fall cases would more than offset the high costs of lung cancer. People can expectorate at their desks instead of outside?

    7. The columns inside the Capitol building all have tobacco leaves at the top thereby evincing the intent of the framers to regulate tobacco anyway. Since smoke tobacco was not popular in the founding era, it’s okay to regulate the smoke.
    Ya’ll have any more?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 1, 2007 @ 8:24 pm
  4. I can’t tell if Chris is being sarcastic and I should be really amused (because those actually were pretty funny) or if he’s being serious and I should be really horrified.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 1, 2007 @ 8:37 pm
  5. Although I favor public restrictions on intrusive smoking, I agree wholeheartedly that this is a task for the states, not the feds. This is another example of the abuse of the commerce clause and the failure to honor the Tenth Amendment.

    Comment by Chepe Noyon — September 2, 2007 @ 12:01 pm
  6. Chepe,

    We’re in agreement on that point that it’s none of the federal government’s business. Although I think “public” bans on smoking shouldn’t extend to private businesses or homes, even if the regulation is at the state level.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 2, 2007 @ 1:22 pm
  7. I certainly agree that bans on smoking in private homes are unjustified, but I’m not aware of any such bans — can you cite any instances? I would think that child endangerment laws could be applied against parents who smoke in the presence of their children, so there’s no need for special smoking laws in that situation. As for private businesses, I further agree with you that there’s no need the special smoking laws to apply to these — the standard health and safety laws are adequate to the task of preventing a smoker from imposing health risks upon others.

    Comment by Chepe Noyon — September 2, 2007 @ 1:32 pm
  8. Chepe,

    Either that or people could simply choose not to frequent businesses that allow smoking, thereby creating a financial incentive for the businesses to ban it on their own, thus eliminating the need for any laws. The only place that I feel a smoking ban is somewhat justified is in publicly-owned buildings, if only because the state technically has ownership and has a right to set workplace environment standards. But even that is pretty shaky.

    As for a list of smoking bans…

    And I don’t think that regulating smoking around children (under special laws or child endangerment) is either wise nor enforceable. It also opens the slippery slope into all kinds of abuse.

    You are a socialist, aren’t you?

    Comment by UCrawford — September 2, 2007 @ 1:43 pm
  9. “You are a socialist, aren’t you?”

    That’s a strange question; perhaps you are unfamiliar with socialism. Socialism is an economic policy in which ownership and allocation of property are reserved to the state. Capitalism, by contrast, is an economic system in which ownership and allocation of property are assigned to individuals. Neither system has any logical relationship with criminal law, which can take any form in either system.

    Thanks for the link to laws banning smoking in private homes; it seems to say that no such laws exist. That’s a relief.

    You apply the slippery slope argument against the application of child endangerment laws against smoking. Aside from the obvious question (why would you want to exempt smoking from any other health issue?) I wonder why you rely on slippery slope arguments when they are known to be illogical?

    Comment by Chepe Noyon — September 2, 2007 @ 3:39 pm
  10. Chepe,

    You need to scroll down to the bottom of the entry I linked to, it references statutes in California where smoking laws are being applied to private domiciles (it was a separate section under the lists of laws in individual states, which is why you might have missed them). At this point they’re being contested, I believe, but the government is attempting to extend its reach on smoking laws into private residences.

    I’m not so sure that socialism a completely inaccurate description of your beliefs…perhaps quasi-socialism might be more accurate. But you definitely have statist leanings. I didn’t mean it as a slur, exactly, it just baffles me why anyone would have that much trust in any government to execute its functions as competently as you seem to think they’re capable of. Extending the right for the state to interfere with the usage of your property (so long as you are not interfering with some else’s personal or property rights) is a way of ceding your ownership of the property to the state. And all economic systems have a logical relationship with criminal law. We have laws for crimes against property, we have laws for crimes against people (which are a self-owned property), there’s no disconnect between the law and economics, mainly because economics is an intrinsic part of human action.

    And not all slippery slope arguments are logical fallacies, so long as a link can be established demonstrating that one action has a reasonable probability of creating another. Allowing the state to exercise ownership powers over your property does create the opportunity for them to eventually seize ownership (see: Venezuela)

    Comment by UCrawford — September 2, 2007 @ 4:58 pm
  11. Yes, I did scroll down and look at the section on California. Here’s the relevant quote:

    “most California cities allow landlords to place anti-smoking regulations at will because anti-smoking rules are in a context of landowners’ private property”

    These are not laws banning smoking in private homes, they are laws permitting property owners to ban smoking on their property — which I would think any staunch supporter of property rights would applaud.

    As to the matter of state intervention in personal property, the relevant quote of yours is this:

    “(so long as you are not interfering with some else’s personal or property rights)”

    That’s the issue in my mind. I don’t care what you do to your own lungs, but as soon as your air pollution enters somebody else’s lungs without their consent, you are violating a basic principle of freedom: the right not to have other people impose danger upon you. I’m all for property rights, I just don’t believe that a smoker can declare the earth’s atmosphere to be his own personal property and nobody else’s.

    As to the slippery slope argument, you’re right that the person applying that argument has an obligation to demonstrate the series of causal links leading to the undesired result. You have provided no such causal links; instead, you seem to be leaping from public health laws to socialism. Is it impossible for a capitalistic society to have any public health laws?

    Comment by Chepe Noyon — September 2, 2007 @ 5:22 pm

    Yes that was a joke.


    Vladimr Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, . . . tell us you don’t belong to in this list of names Chepe. . . please answer Crawford’s question…are you red?

    Comment by Chris Kachouroff — September 4, 2007 @ 6:38 pm
  13. Chris,

    You ought to include the little smiley face ( :) )…you’d be surprised how many times something that appears to be sarcasm is actually an incredibly stupid opinion.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 4, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML