Rule of Thumb About Making Laws

If the law is named after someone in the news, especially a crime victim, then it is likely a bad law based more in emotion than in reason.  In Wisconsin Republican Assemblyman Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) is sponsoring “Caylee’s Law,” and is sending it around to gather so-sponsorships.  This is grandstanding, it is Petryk and his fellow Republicans riding a national trend, and it does nothing to address real problems plaguing the state of Wisconsin.  From Assemblyman Petryk’s statement:

This is the right move for Wisconsin so that we can hopefully protect our children from harm and hold those responsible for their care or lack thereof. I expect there will be strong bi-partisan support for Caylee’s Law.

As far as I know, there are plenty of laws on the books to protect children, and to have Petryk promote this law when he recently voted to slash education funding for those same children is a joke.   But I’m sure legislators will all jump on board, else campaigns against them will feature the image of Caylee, the poor child, and ignore the very real issues of substandard education, homelessness and hunger that are actual problems in this state.

Let me set the record straight.  What happened to Caylee Anthony was a tragedy, but it was an isolated tragedy that happened well over a thousand miles from Mr. Petryk’s district and the only reason he wrote the law is so he could demagogue about it.  Petryk wouldn’t have even known about Caylee Anthony if the case and trial hadn’t grown shamefully into a full-blown reality show.  Basing a law on a reality show is just bad lawmaking.

As it looks from a quick look at google for “Caylee’s Law Wisconsin,” this is bad Republican lawmaking.  I suppose they’re trying to soften their image.

 

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8 thoughts on “Rule of Thumb About Making Laws

  1. If the law is named after someone in the news, especially a crime victim, then it is likely a bad law based more in emotion than in reason.

    I’m with you on this one, Steven. Knee-jerk legislation (over) reacting to a rare occurrence is a bad idea. On occasion, a legitimate shortcoming of our laws is revealed and should be addressed. But the fact of the matter is, if it’s something that hasn’t come up until now, waiting a little while for the emotions to cool and discuss will not result in widespread chaos.

    1. This case in Wisconsin is a matter of grandstanding b y Republicans to take minds off their behavior earlier this year. That’s what makes it reprehensible, using a child’s death to forward their own interests.

  2. Is there no one who has an opinion on the deaths of 68 young Leftists in Norway? 68 young Leftists murdered by a conservative right wing terrorist and nobody has an opinion?

    The shooter was a big fan of any number of American conservative bloggers, writers and thinkers. He bought his 30 round clips online from an American source and yet no one has any comment about the Norwegian massacre?

    Anyone?

    1. I have my own opinions about it, but frankly I know that the conservatives will compare it to selling fertilizer from China.

    2. If it isn’t clear: I could argue until we all get migraine headaches, but it won’t do any good.

      I think we need to stop blaming Norway for the tragedy and put the blame where it rightfully belongs – the terrorist who did it. There was no way that they could have predicted this attack on the island after the detonations. It’s like blaming Bush of how he handled 9/11. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize him on 9/11 and blame him for blowing it up entirely according to plan. (Although I do side eye on what he did before it like dismantling most of the anti-terrorism infrastructure Bill Clinton left in place and many things he did after the attack. But not the act in itself. I actually think he handled himself well with keeping the children calm before he chose to leave. )

    3. Steve, it was discussed at length in another thread. Don’t remember which one, but everybody had thoughts.

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