Monday, September 18, 2006

Not Even The Ninth

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gets a bad wrap. Sometimes, I think it is undeserved. Yes, it is the circuit that struck down the pledge of allegiance, but there is something to the argument that Congress, when it changed the pledge back in the 1950s, was trying to put some deistic ideas that some people do not want passed on and taught to their kids.

Incidentally, and off the topic, when I worked back east doing appeals work, the test I used for whether we could get away with doing something to a prisoner was to see if the Ninth Circuit had already approved, figuring that if the Ninth had let the prosecutors get away with it, the comparably conservative Third Circuit was not going to bat an eye at what had happened. But I digress.

Despite the claims that the Ninth will find fundamental rights for anyone or anything, Lowering the Bar reports, not even the Ninth Circuit will find that a equal protection should extend to an aircraft or mandate that someone with a private plane should be allowed to land it wherever he pleases. Apparently Ron Tutor sued the City of Hailey Idaho for denying him permission to land his executive version-737 at its airport when Mr. Tutor wants to fly up to his Idaho home. Of course, despite the fact that a 737 weighs approximately twice what the airport's runway will support, Mr. Tutor sued on a number of theories including the city's action denied him substantive due process, procedural due process, equal protection, and the right to travel.

Of course, it might have just been cheaper to offer to improve the city's airport's runway or buy a smaller plane to use for those getaways to Idaho than what he spent on the lawyers, and the fees for the City's lawyers and the sanctions which the District Court awarded for bringing a frivolous suit.

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