The conversation started with a news story from Iowa which made national news.  A drunk driver was busted.  Nothing unusual about that, but in this case he was driving his riding lawn mower down the street weaving about the center lane.  That's not the part of the story which landed it on Drudge.  It was the kicker line in which the local arresting sheriff claimed, "In Iowa, it's illegal to drive any motor vehicle anywhere while intoxicated, the driver could have been charged while mowing his own lawn."

When I read that one on the air,  I wondered how law enforcement could get jurisdiction to bust an intoxicated mower rider on his own property.  

The first caller said the sheriff is "Stuck on such jurisdiction exists in Iowa code."

A cop called in to say,  "Yes there is.  It's Iowa code 321.J.  

So I pushed him.   "What does it say?"

I could hear the pages of his cop code book being rifled in the background,  "I can't find it."

Then a public official called to say that although it wasn't actually in the code,  "'s been interpreted that way by the courts."

At that point all the little Constitutional hairs stood up on the back of my neck.  "Judges have said its ok?"


"Even though the law doesn't authorize it?"

"Yes,  the legislature doesn't have a problem with it." he said.

I said,  "That's not a very high standard."

Said the official,  "Where in the Constitution or Iowa code does it say on CAN drive your lawnmower while drunk, on your own property?"

"That turns our relationship with the state upside down.  We don't get our rights from the state or it's code.  We don't need permission from the law or a government employee to drink a beer while mowing one's own yard.  It's our property."

Said the official, "If you kill somebody on your property or counterfeit money in your basement, police can arrest you on your own property can't they?"

"Yes, but in either of those cases, there are victims.  It IS the proper function of government to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens.  It is not the proper role of government to protect me against myself.  Plus,  judges can't re-write Iowa code from the bench.  Judge-made "law" is null and void.  If the legislature won't defend their turf from activist judges, the rest of us must."

So,  am I really going to argue that a citizen of the United States can legally mow his own yard while two-sheets to the wind?   With deepest apologies to my long-gone,  tea-totaling mom,  the answer is,  "Yes".    It may be sinful,  but it shouldn't be illegal.  

(Unless you mow un-American and evil practice.  We have to have some standards. )

Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm CDT


Tara Ross says Democrats are trying to change our form of government by trashing our electoral college.   Newt Gingrich says he wants to toss a wrench into the Obama machine.   The Iowa's establishment are still pushing open borders in Iowa.

Direct download: mickelson-2010-07-12.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:27am CDT






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