I am always amazed when some insist on playing checkers when the world is playing chess.
On September 3rd, 2009,Senator Judson Hill rushed to all available microphones, flanked by fellow Senators including Mitch Seabaugh, to deploy a novel pre-emptive strike against Obama Care. They asserted the en vogue 10th Amendment, and stated flatly that any attempt of the Federal Government to involve itself in medical delivery in Georgia was unconstitutional and would be stopped.
It was a strong bold move that seized the moment – until the first question was asked.
“So, you’re saying that Medicare will now be unconstitutional in Georgia?”
“Ummmm. We’ll get back to you on that….”
Fast forward to 16 February 2011. Senators are contorting themselves to figure out how to not go on the record over Sunday Sales – again – and Senators Seabaugh and Hill are questioning Georgia’s Constitution in allowing for local referendums to regulate the sale of alcohol at the local level, which they questioned may be reserved as a State function.
Seabaugh’s comments are captured by Jason Pye here, and Judson Hill currently has the following on Facebook:
- Determing(sic)the constituitionallity(sic) of any proposed bill including the current Sunday sales bill is important. Without first changing the State Constitution, it may be illegal to put such a referendum to the voters under GA Constitution Article III, Section 6 par. 7.
OK, so Senator Hill has either impressed himself with citing a code section, or he thinks that will dazzle us commoner/non-lawyers into submission. “It’s too complicated. There’s code and stuff. I guess they can’t vote…”
Well, let’s just try to apply some logic to their logic.
If allowing local referendum on Sunday Sales is unconstitutional, then the local referendums that set the days, times, and places for all alcohol sales in Georgia are unconstitutional. Thus, all current legal alcohol sales in Georgia are not legal, as the process from which they were authorized are unconstitutional, if you follow Seabaugh and Hill’s argument.
Seabaugh has now informed Jason Pye that he’s received his answer, and, amazingly, Georgia’s long time standing system of local referendum to regulate alcohol sales is in fact constitutional. Hill has yet to update his facebook to determine if local alcohol referendums (or medicare) are constitutional. But, it’s another day wasted in the General Assembly that needs to be fixing real problems, with Senators instead re-creating their tortured annual update of kabuki theater.
So, indecisive Republicans in the Senate, please pat yourselves on the back. If you thought trying to let the Freshmen handling this screwed things up a bit, you underestimated yourself. Some of your more senior members continue to make the same rookie mistakes, well after they’ve earned veteran status.