June 23, 2011

"Lone Star State secedes from incandescent light ban."

The North County Times reports:
Texans can keep buying traditional incandescent light bulbs, under a bill allowed to become law this week by Gov. Rick Perry.

The bill, HB 2510, states that it avoids the federal phase-out specifying that traditional incandescent bulbs are legal to sell in Texas as long as they are manufactured in that state. That means the bulbs are not part of interstate commerce, removing the rationale for their regulation under the U.S. Constitution, according to the bill.
I love my incandescent bulbs, but the law is obviously preempted by federal law. The argument that the Commerce Clause doesn't give Congress the power to ban light bulbs manufactured and sold within one state is plainly wrong under the Supreme Court case law. But I appreciate the gesture, because I want my light bulbs. Why I would travel through the channels of interstate comments to get to Texas to fill up my car with boxes of light bulbs and drive back across the continent to replenish my horded supply.

Mockery from the Austin newspaper (Austin being the Madison of the southern United States):
Only in Texas could people get worked up about using a certain light bulb because the other bulb is too liberal. But I'll bet there are people out there who don't use the new fluorescents because they think members of their bridge club will call them commies.

Maybe what the Legislature ought to do to send a message is get a great big incandescent light bulb and screw it into the Goddess of Liberty's head on top of the Capitol.

Perry was up in New York City the other day, banging his chest about how great the Texas economy is doing. Funny how he didn't mention the light bulb bill. Oh, well, I guess he just didn't want to come across as a dim bulb.
Grrr.

Buy some light bulbs here and support the Althouse blog. Althouse has been against the incandescent ban from the very beginning.

99 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

He's Running! A light bulb just came on!

Fred4Pres said...

I am not a big perry for president fan, but this ban is not popular anywhere.

Pogo said...

"But I'll bet there are people out there who don't use the new fluorescents because they think members of their bridge club will call them commies."

See, Althouse?

They wanna run your life, and mock you for wanting to make your own choices.

And screw you if florescents give you migraines, or affect your medical skin condition, or make everything look like shit.

Using incandescents is just red-baiting.

Lucius said...

How many battalions has the Supreme Court?

Do the feds wanna come down to Texas and enforce this? Just to demancipate our light bulbs?

What a dumbass at that newspaper. Don't they know that liberalism, sometimes, is genuinely *toxic*?

Trapper Townshend said...

I live in Austin. The paper sucks.

Chase said...

Austin being the Madison of the southern United States

Hell yes!

Again, liberals/Democrats want to run your life down to the light bulbs you can buy.

Coming soon from Democrats: Toilet Paper banned because it's made from trees.

Yu-Ain Gonnano said...

"Only in Texas could people get worked up about using a certain light bulb because the other bulb is too liberal."

Yep, because nothing's more liberal than telling people what they can and can't do in their own home. /sarc

traditionalguy said...

I bet that the Texas sized incandescents will never fit into regular sockets, not that it will stop them. THE BULBS OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU!

Rob said...

Professor Althouse:

Do you think the case law is correct? If you were looking at the Constitution without regard to case law would you think Congress could forbid the sale of an item produced and sold in a State? I don't, but then I don't think anyone could come up with Miranda or Roe v. Wade on the basis of the Federal Constitution, either.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: Is that a freaking **Boucher** you've got for an avatar?!

I've used one of those. Or two. I'm a Rococo fan.

But then I'm rather a girly-man.

Yu-Ain Gonnano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

Austin may be the Madison of Texas, but I do not think the other southern states care to be included with Texas. Besides, they have their own Madisons.

Otherwise, Supreme Court case law is not the Constitution itself. As has been remarked, the justices do read the newspapers, and the case law can change.

Lucius said...

@Fred4Pres: I can't say I'm enthused about Perry at this point. Texas policies are good, but I can't just hand him all the credit for that; anyway, the TX governor's mansion is supposed to be relatively weak. And then there's that whole 'optics' thing--yes, I don't think the country is ready for another Texan right now.

Anyway, Palin has him beat on the Big Country pioneer thing anyday.

But kudos to him all the same on this. May others shortly follow suit!

Beldar said...

Prof A,

"But some light bulbs here and support the Althouse blog."

should be --->

"Buy some light bulbs here and support the Althouse blog."

And you might want to double-check that link. It takes me, at least, to a page that asks for my Amazon Associates log-in, not to a page with light bulbs that I can buy and generate an Amazon Associates rebate to you.

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

That Supreme court case law you mention is one if the clearest examples of the court ignoring the plain meaning of the Constitution in order to extend Federal power.

Trapper Townshend said...

@ Lucius,

Yes -- it's his wife.

I am not certain as to whether she'd be for or against the banning of incandescent light bulbs.

hombre said...

"Only in Texas could people get worked up about using a certain light bulb because the other bulb is too liberal."

I left Austin in 2009, but I see some things never change. Statesman columnist John Kelso is still the quintessential liberal moron.

What was it Buckley said about liberals only being tolerant of opposing points of view until they find out there are opposing points of view.

chuckR said...

"But I'll bet there are people out there who don't use the new fluorescents because they think members of their bridge club will call them commies."

Well, yeah. The bulbs are made in (ostensibly Communist) China, in sweatshop conditions, with lousy quality control.

The result is similar to effects predicted by Gresham's Law. Here, the government drives out all but one feasible short term alternative, and lack of competition allows for an abysmal product. Meanwhile, the good stuff is hoarded. Every time I visit a big box home improvement center, I pick up another eight pack.

ps - if you want a good mini but not CFL fluorescent for hard to change locations, look for PL-C base bulbs. From Phillips. Made in Holland. By squareheads. Will honest to God last so long you'll forget where and when you bought them.

Beldar said...

I've more often seen Austin compared to Berkeley or Cambridge than to Madison, but I frankly prefer the nickname "Sodom on the Colorado" to either. Partly that's because the source of the Colorado River (the Texas version, not the one that cut the Grand Canyon) is in my hometown, Lamesa, in the prairies of the Texas panhandle.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I love my incandescent bulbs, but the law is obviously preempted by federal law. The argument that the Commerce Clause doesn't give Congress the power to ban light bulbs manufactured and sold within one state is plainly wrong under the Supreme Court case law.

I'm familiar with that case law, and I'm not even a lawyer. So I think you're right as a general rule.

But besides the fact that the Supreme Court sometimes ignores past case law (as others have already pointe out), there's another consideration here. I cannot imagine a higher profile bread-and-butter issue for a Republican presidential candidate than the government taking Texas to court for the right to take away our light bulbs. It's an even more potent issue if that candidate is Perry.

Ann Althouse said...

Link fixed. Get your bulbs now.

"Do you think the case law is correct? If you were looking at the Constitution without regard to case law would you think Congress could forbid the sale of an item produced and sold in a State?"

Yes, I think Congress has the power to make a law banning a product uniformly through the U.S. and not subject to opt-out by the states like that. Think about marijuana... and heroin and cocaine. And meth! One race-to-the-bottom state could screw things up for all the other states... and make a big profit.

Now, if Perry became President and got some key SCt appointments, things might change a bit... but not that much.

What needs to be done is for Congress to repeal the ban. Pronto.

Scott M said...

Coming soon from Democrats: Toilet Paper banned because it's made from trees.

Oh, you'll still be able to use toilet paper, but it will be around grit 20.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm with you on the light bulbs.

Now, what about that story that Barney Frank and Ron Paul have joined forces to end marijuana prohibition?

Rialby said...

"Yes, I think Congress has the power to make a law banning a product uniformly through the U.S. and not subject to opt-out by the states like that. Think about marijuana... and heroin and cocaine. And meth! One race-to-the-bottom state could screw things up for all the other states... and make a big profit."

Uhh, doesn't someone have to prove that the use of incandescent actually has an adverse impact? I think there are actual studies based on like science and stuff that show cocaine is harmful.

Rialby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rialby said...

Trapper - I live in Austin. The paper sucks.

I do too. I've never paid one cent for it. I'd rather read the Austin Chronicle. At least their honest about being a bunch of Socialist hacks.

themightypuck said...

Prof. Althouse,

You make a good argument for Federal power but you didn't connect it to the constitution. If the federalism of the constitution doesn't work in the modern world shouldn't we have to amend it rather than construe it so that it does.

Jason said...

COME AND TAKE IT!!!!

Coketown said...

All of my lightbulbs are liberal--uniformly white, stay in seclusion and associate only with others like them, come out only to illuminate my dark, conservative world but burn out rather quickly--but that doesn't stop me from using them. My bulbs' politics have nothing to do with their utility.

What does stop me from using CFLs is the fact I'm paying more for an inferior product. My quality of life is diminished. It'd be like paying more for an abortion (liberals collectively gasp: "No! Not that!"). If you want to see a culture that bases utility on the political associations of the actual product, google "Palin wine California 2008." It's a scream.

bgates said...

Think about marijuana... and heroin and cocaine. And meth!

Think about alcohol. In 1919, people thought Prohibition required a Constitutional amendment. (And from their perspective, the Constitution itself was only, like, about a hundred years old, so they should have been able to understand it and stuff.)

gadfly said...

The answer to Althouse's SCOTUS dilemma is to rewrite the Texas law to permit the manufacture and sale of Texas-style incandescent heaters, since 75 to 80% of the energy given off by incandescent bulbs is heat.

TreeJoe said...

Ann,

I'm not a law expert, but under our constitution I doubt the supreme court case law is correct here and I think Texas would have a strong case. A state is exerting the right to manufacture and sell a product which is not banned by ingredient nor sum of parts. This is the heart of federalism. What enumerated power does the government have to say, for example, "You can't produce or sell paper made from papyrus." to the states unless there is a distinct falling within the powers of the congress? I love this type of federalistic manuever, because it shows the federal government that it HAS limits and it's got to stop ignoring them.

On another note: I find it terrible that the federal government is forcing me to bring barely contained mercury vapor into my home. I've already broken one bulb and basically, before I realized it broke, inhaled from 12" away a big ol gulp of freshly mercury-ized air.

Why is the government forcing me to bring something so toxic into my home - or else pay an exorbitant fee to retrofit LED lighting?

I thought we were beyond the age of the surgeon general advising smoking. I guess not.

Michael K said...

I don't know that the Court os going to be enthusiastic about these Commerce Clause cases once THE BIG ONE comes to them. Either the Commerce Clause will have some restrictions or they won't want to face that issue again.

Second, this will put enormous pressure on that weasel Upton to follow through with repeal. If the Democrats block it, it will be a great issue for next year.

Perry is a big 10th Amendment guy and this is a nice showcase to explain what he means. I think he is serious.

Coketown said...

I'm not a law expert, but under our constitution I doubt the supreme court case law is correct here...

Sadly, the problem here is that the Supreme Court case law is always correct. Whatever SCOTUS says, is.

I'm curious, though, whether today's SCOTUS would overturn FDR-era SCOTUS and restore some sanity to the Commerce Clause. First, though, we'll have to wait for the Obamacare ruling to find out if there is even a limit on the Commerce Clause.

wfgodbold said...

If Congress has the power to blanket ban a product throughout the states, then why was the Prohibition amendment necessary? Why didn't they just ban alcohol by federal law?

Or did Congress previously not have this blanket ban power, and now it does?

Pogo said...

If SCOTUS upholds Obamacare's insurance purchase mandate, then the Constitution is dead dead dead.

At that point, the Lone Star State will have to secede from the Union to overcome the incandescent light ban.

And they might, given the toilet swirl the nation is entering.

Sencho said...

Professor, I'm curious, is SCOTUS the ultimate word? Once they've ruled are there no ways for people to legally challenge again?

Could not this legislation be a club an enterprising young lawyer could use to beat back the leviathan? Wickard v Filburn needn't be any more compelling than Dred Scott. Especially considering both revolve around stripping people of their freedoms.

edutcher said...

Althouse: "They can have my incandescent light bulb when they pry it from my cold, dead hands".

Moses would be so proud.

PS TX, AZ, GA. Somewhere, John C Calhoun is smiling.

Dewave said...

I am sure the commerce clause has been interpreted to mean congress can regulate activity that is not in fact commerce across state lines.

That doesn't mean it's correct.

I highly approve of states deciding this incandescent light bulb ban is idiotic and taking stand against it.

Although I thought NC was doing something similar.

I'm an early adopter of CFL's. Have had majority CFL's in the house for about 4 years now.

However, for some lighting, incandescents are better.

chuckR said...

I've already broken one bulb and basically, before I realized it broke, inhaled from 12" away a big ol gulp of freshly mercury-ized air.

CFLs need 1/4 the energy of incandescents to produce their (occasionally flickering and strangely colored) light. I don't know the magnitude of the resultant reduction in coal plant pollution in the form of mercury, arsenic and radioactive material, but you should consider offsetting the 4mg of Hg CFL pollution accordingly. Still dislike them, though.

Plus, man up, will ya'? My grandmother had a small glass jar of mercury the grandkids could play with and people mostly don't think we're mad as hatters. Mostly.

TTTTTTT said...

What if - the language of the bill were to specifically state that sale of the bulbs is allowed if they involve no interstate commerce. Then, it's a matter of not enforcing that too carefully. Could the bill then pass constitutional muster?

mariner said...

In the final analysis the American people decide what the Constitution means, not the Supreme Court.

The sooner both the people and the Court remember that the better the chance we'll once again be at least marginally a free country.

rhhardin said...

Supreme Court case law is on the table, for citizens and voters without a professional stake in it anyway.

rhhardin said...

The trouble with mercury as a kid is that you lose it to cracks in the hardwood floor.

virgil xenophon said...

We can't stop drug smugglers from Mexico, what makes anyone think they will be able to stop the INEVITABLE light-bulb smuggling that will INSTANTANEOUSLY arise. And THIS time, the American public will be cheering the smugglers on. I don't think the lefties and eco-Stalinists have fully thought thru the consequences of creating a nation of scofflaws who regard their own government as illegitimate on this basis alone..

Dustin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarryD said...

I've been using CFLs for a long time. I have no problem with them. However, they don't fit in all lamps, nor do they work for all applications.

With LED bulbs coming down in price, and working very well -- including being dimmable -- I see no reason to ban anything. The market will take care of this, and I figure that, within 5 years most people will use LED bulbs anyway.

For applications where they are desirable for some reason, incandescents will still sell.

In the mean time, why force people to buy new lamps, or harass us with laws banning something that is becoming obsolete on its own, anyway?

mesquito said...

Geez Louise. That column was by John Kelso. I haven't thought of him since I was a UT undergrad in the late 1980s. Same tired old, lazy, condescending liberal shit. I thought he was old then. He must be approaching 90 by now.

Fen said...

I live in Austin. The paper sucks.

I use to live in Austin. The offices of that "newspaper" all use incandescents.

mesquito said...

I used to live in Austin. I've spent the last twenty years going well out of my way to avoid Smugtown.

Ela said...

Ann,

I disagree with ~70% of your opinions. Liberal here <-- but I keep coming back for the quality. And I am 100% on board with your lightbulb manifesto. I'd trade almost any other electric hogs in my house to keep my soothing bulbs and keep the grating fluorescents away.

Ela

Titus said...

tits.

Thorley Winston said...

What needs to be done is for Congress to repeal the ban. Pronto.


I agree that it's up to Congress but I think that more than that needs to be done to address the larger problem.

AFAIK Congress didn’t pass a law to ban a particular light bulb. Instead it passed a law to create a federal agency and delegated power to that agency that enabled it through its rule-making power to effectively ban a particular type of light bulb.

Congress needs to act to reign in some of the power it delegated to these administrative agencies so that they don’t have the power to do things like effectively banning light bulbs or trying to regulate CO2 emissions that ought to be left up to Congress.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It's really a moot question whether or not the original meaning of the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate intrastate commerce in light bulbs. The non-original New Deal meaning is by now so thoroughly embedded in our system of government that to restore the original meaning would be to make a revolution. It's not the job of judges to make revolutions. Besides, the real constitutional question here isn't about the Commerce Clause, it's about whether states can, regardless of the merits, nullify federal laws. That one's about as settled as a constitutional question can be.

PatCA said...

After we get the bulbs back, I want the phosphate back in my detergents!

JimMuy said...

What if the State of Texas takes over the sale of the bulbs (like, say, ID has state liquor stores)?
And instead of paying a "price" for it, you pay a "fee?"
Do we still have interstate commerce subject to regulation by the feds?

Coketown said...

The ban on incandescents is, of course, an expression of the left's deep-seated racism. When they hear the name Lewis Latimer, they spit. Finally, 130 years later, they get their revenge.

just a thought said...

I'm curious why so many of you are opposed to the Federal Goverment trying to integrate a technology that uses less electricity and lasts longer. That's a significant savings to the consumer and makes us less dependent on foreign oil etc. All of this is a good thing. It seems that everyone is upset with the idea that the Federal government is "telling me what I can and can't do in my own home!!" I think it's more about directing the industry which in this day and age, if left to their own devices would never change hence the country never progresses. And I don't use that word the way many of you all will take it. All this anger at using a different (better) light bulb really causes one to question that if you all lived in the days where there wasn't modern plumbing and the goverment said everyone has to use a toilet for sanitary reasons...a lot of you would stand up screaming..."no way I'm going to keep shitting in the street because that's my right".

PETER V. BELLA said...

Just one more thing the government did against the will of the people.

Calypso Facto said...

"If this Texas law is preempted, let the DOJ sue us. Come and try to take my lightbulbs, DOJ!"

"John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." A. Jackson

Will we now see the Dept of Energy and the EPA joining the Dept of Education in authorizing SWAT raids?

Paul Zrimsek said...

All this anger at using a different (better) light bulb really causes one to question that if you all lived in the days where there wasn't modern plumbing and the goverment said everyone has to use a toilet for sanitary reasons...

You do realize that the government never said that, correct? That, somehow, the reactionary public and hidebound industry of your imagining somehow managed to embrace indoor plumbing on their own, and that Congress had no more need to ban outhouses than it did shellac 78s or carburetors?

PETER V. BELLA said...

I have used those curly cue bulbs for outdoor lights. I refuse to dispose of them according to whatever. When they burn out they go in the trash.

I only use incandescent bulbs indoors.

Sigivald said...

So they'll be taken to court.

And maybe the Supreme Court will fix the stupid precedents (not likely, but one can hope).

Raich was an abomination - Justice Thomas was completely correct about it.

Old Dad said...

Just a thought,

The pig tail bulbs suck. Buy all you want. I won't. Call it civil disobedience.

Sigivald said...

I think Congress has the power to make a law banning a product uniformly through the U.S. and not subject to opt-out by the states like that.

Then why did we need an amendment to ban liquor?

Despite your prudential rather than legal counter-argument, I think that Constitutionally (rather than precedentially, given Raich) there's no damned reason why in-state production and sale of, say, heroin or methamphetamine can be banned by the Federal government.

And I think the existence of the 18th Amendment is the best possible proof; plainly it was found necessary back then.

Did the Constitution change somehow to make an Amendment not necessary to ban something in non-Interstate trade?

No. What changed is the Court deciding that that just didn't matter.

A pox on the majority in Raich. And every decision that ever eroded the Commerce Clause into restricting nothing at all.

Fen said...

I'm curious why so many of you are opposed to the Federal Goverment trying to integrate a technology that uses less electricity and lasts longer

1) the light is poor.

2) Mercury

3) the "elites" won't switch, but demand we do

3) More to come, but I have to go unload my dishwasher, re-scrub the dishes, then run them through the dishwasher again...so they will finally be clean.

AllenS said...

just a thought said...
I'm curious why so many of you are opposed to the Federal Goverment trying to integrate a technology that uses less electricity and lasts longer. That's a significant savings to the consumer and makes us less dependent on foreign oil etc.

Do you really think that most of our electricity is created by the use of foreign oil?

Fen said...

The pig tail bulbs suck. Buy all you want. I won't.

You have to. Haven't you read the Obamacare rulings? The Nanny-State will FORCE you to engage in commerce.

Eleanor said...

Just a Thought - If the CFL light bulbs were better bulbs and saved people money on their electric bills, the marketplace would take over, and people would slowly gravitate toward them. But they aren't better bulbs. They're crap, and they're an environmental hazard to boot. If the government wants to dictate what I use in my own home, then they damn well better be pushing a good product.

Eleanor said...

Just a Thought - If the CFL light bulbs were better bulbs and saved people money on their electric bills, the marketplace would take over, and people would slowly gravitate toward them. But they aren't better bulbs. They're crap, and they're an environmental hazard to boot. If the government wants to dictate what I use in my own home, then they damn well better be pushing a good product.

Penny said...

"The pig tail bulbs suck."

Who doesn't like pigtails? Or pigs' tails, with associated pork?

Thanks, Old Dad. Moving forward I will hate the CFL's just a teeny bit less.

Joe said...

Of course any such statute would be struck down. Perry and the Texas legislature know that. But the point is not the manufacture and sale of incandescent bulbs. The point is political theater. Perry and the lege will be shocked!, shocked! that the ban is struck down and will rail about overbearing feds.

We are in for some entertainment. Get some popcorn, lean back, and enjoy.

Ralph L said...

I've got five antique fixtures with 15 exposed bulbs. Already, I can't find decorative 40 watt bulbs that match the ones I bought 10 years ago when I had them rewired.

When they fix the law, they could bring back 3 gallon toilets, too. If the dry states want to ban them, let them.

Every Republican candidate for Congress & President should be beating the heads of the Dems with this ever chance they get. So what if Bush signed it.

Dustin said...

'if the government doesn't control industry we won't progress'.

BS

These CFLs are largely inferior. They cost a ton, they don't last long, they produce awful light, and they are full of poison and made of fragile glass. I've already broken two of them in my home, and I resent the idea I have to have poison floating around in my home.

If they were better, we'd buy them without being forced to.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So what effect does this law really have? There's clearly no effect until someone in Texas sells an incandescent ligth bulb.
At that point, the feds prosecute under federal law. The defendant could then claim that the federal law is unconstitutional based on the 10th amendment. That defense either works or not, based on the constitution, the caselaw, and the whims of the current justices.

No where in this process is the Texas law relevant.

Bradley J. Fikes said...

Ann,
Thank you for the mention and link. I've updated my post to reflect it.

txrxqa said...

Ann says: "I love my incandescent bulbs, but the law is obviously preempted by federal law."

Maybe the good docto -er- professor can explain how the Texas electric generation and transmission bidness is exempt from Federal control?

You see, every other power generation system in the US crosses some state boundary _except_ for the core generation systems in the heart/majority of Texas where it is directed/overseen and regulated by ERCOT... so we thumb our nose at FERC ... not so much NERC (nuke regulation) though.

ERCOT'S JURISDICTIONAL STATUS: A LEGAL HISTORY AND CONTEMPORARY
www.tjogel.org/archive/Vol3No1/Fleisher.pdf

_Jim

mariner said...

Paul Zrimsek,

The non-original New Deal meaning is by now so thoroughly embedded in our system of government that to restore the original meaning would be to make a revolution. It's not the job of judges to make revolutions.

So it's been judges' jobs since the New Deal to make revolutions, but not now?

Once again, the people decide what the Constitution means. The people have been putting up with unconstitutional judicial overreach for a long, long time -- but there's no guarantee that will continue.

When the people recognize that what can't continue won't, the game will change.

The sooner that happens the better is the possibility that the game change will be [mostly] peaceful, even though it will be very painful.

txrxqa said...

NERC - make that NRC (nuke regulation)

Mea Culpa.

Allen Garvin said...

If you really love your incandescents, Van Dyke Restoration carries some period copies: http://www.vandykes.com/product/1893-edison-light-bulb

I'm perfectly happy with CFLs for most of my usage--I dislike getting a ladder out to change ceiling bulbs. But, I like dimmer switches in a few parts of the house, and I love the period bulbs in some nice lamps I have.

george said...

The Supreme Court case law is wrong and at odds with the plain meaning and intent of the Commerce Clause. No one is buying what the Supremes are selling here. You are going to see a lot more push back because of this and I suspect the moment will come where the federal government is just going to be ignored.

The precedent is already set with sanctuary cities and with the president himself picking and choosing what laws he will and will not enforce and who has to comply and who receives waivers. We have reached the point where the federal government no longer has the consent of the governed because they have overstepped the powers allowed them by the Constitution. The Supreme Court has played a very large role in delegitimizing the US government. If the government can pick and choose which words have meaning and which do not, or which laws they will enforce and which they will not then we are certainly free to do likewise when deciding which laws to follow.

I always wondered why people like the oil workers in the gulf don't go back to work as a form of protest. If people can block train tracks to keep others from working or lay out of work and picket as a protest then why not work as a form of protest? Do you think the feds could survive the images of arresting people for working in an economy where no one has a job? Do you think they could survive arresting someone for opening a light bulb factory? Do you think they could invade every garage and workshop where people blow little glass bulbs and attach filaments to a metal base? That method has certainly been a roaring success in the drug war where the greatest accomplishment is that they have been able to increase the violence level while making cold medicine all but impossible to get.

The left counts on the right being law abiding in ways they would never be themselves. I don't think they will be able to make that calculation much longer. People have had about enough. The Supreme Court won't even be a footnote when we reach that point. The courts desperately need to get back on the right side of this issue before that day comes.

I suspect that deep down they know this. I also suspect they will rule Obamacare unconstitutional for this very reason because otherwise they will have completely removed an entire section of the Constitution. It is one thing to chip away and subvert a founding principle and it is another to void it entirely.

Of course Kelo would argue that I expect a level of self-restraint... or even just basic reading comprehension that is not possessed by the Court. It is the randomness and complete lack of reason that makes watching this so fascinating. What side will Kennedy's lucky penny land on today? Is Ginsburg close enough to death that she really cares whether the Constitution survives her? What would a wise Latina do when confronted with the words of a bunch of dead white guys that she holds in such obvious contempt and does not understand in the least? Which foreign laws are controlling in this instance? What will the people at the cocktail parties think? How badly do they want this policy implemented? These are the things that matter to these people. The legal rationalizations are just details.

Dad29 said...

"...manufactured and sold within one state is plainly wrong..."

SCOTUS? You mean the farmer-who-sold-corn-to-his-neighbor case or some such egregious violation of National Security Secrets?

M'dear, those are the cases which tell normal people that the Rule of Law is a laughingstock.

And I didn't even mention Sumi.

Chip S. said...

The lamps at night
are nice and bright
bump bump bump bump
deep in the heart of Texas

traditionalguy said...

Now the BATFE will need to add mores letters for Light Bulbs sold without a license.

murgatroyd666 said...

just a thought wrote:

I'm curious why so many of you are opposed to the Federal Goverment trying to integrate a technology that uses less electricity and lasts longer. ...

I'm curious why so many of you are opposed to the Federal Goverment trying to save people's souls by compelling them to worship according to the One True Religion. That's a significant improvement in their lives and enables them to escape damnation. All of this is a good thing. It seems that everyone is upset with the idea that the Federal government is "telling me what I can and can't do in my own church!" I think it's more about correcting the people, which in this day and age, if left to their own devices would never change hence the country never progresses. And I don't use that word the way many of you all will take it. All this anger at worshiping in the One True Religion really causes one to question that if you all lived in the days where we didn't know the One True Religion and the goverment said everyone has to go to Heaven ... a lot of you would stand up screaming ... "no way, I'm going to go straight to Hell because that's my right."

Paco Wové said...

"Once again, the people decide what the Constitution means. The people have been putting up with unconstitutional judicial overreach for a long, long time..."

In this case, it's not 'judicial overreach', it's 'congressional overreach'. It was Congress that passed the law -- SCOTUS just came along and said, "yup, Congress can do that". So you've got 2/3rds (at least) of the Federal government saying, in effect, that the commerce clause means whatever the hell the Federal government wants it to mean.

Paul said...

I think liberals ought to by the new poison filled lightbulbs while us conservatives buy the plain old incandescent ones.

Yes the new ones are filled with mercury and give off fumes. That's fine with me libs. Buy 'em! Use ‘em! Make your house a hazmat zone!

Rick for Prez!!!

Scott M said...

Yes the new ones are filled with mercury and give off fumes.

Cite, please.

Fen said...

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cfl.asp

Its funny to compare this to the older reassurances that radiation exposure isn't really all that bad for you. Esp if you duck behind a bush...

Paul Zrimsek said...

So it's been judges' jobs since the New Deal to make revolutions, but not now?

At least as far as the Commerce Clause is concerned, the revolution was made by the political branches. The sole contribution of the Supreme Court was to stand by and let them do it, rather than stopping them as the correct (originalist) reading of the Constitution would have required. But that ship has sailed.

MadisonMan said...

As I've said all along, the best way to protest the CFL bulbs is to take a carton into the Capitol, and "accidentally" dump them, breaking them all and releasing all the mercury vapors into the hallowed halls of Congress.

LawGirl said...

The left counts on the right being law abiding in ways they would never be themselves. I don't think they will be able to make that calculation much longer. People have had about enough. The Supreme Court won't even be a footnote when we reach that point. The courts desperately need to get back on the right side of this issue before that day comes.

This. If SCOTUS doesn't return to pre-New Deal constitutional construction, we're in for a more drastic solution to federal over-reaching. I'd much prefer the former to the latter.

Peter T said...

The ban is wrong, on both relevancy and choice issues.

Light bulbs don’t burn coal, and they don’t release CO2 gas:
Any such worries should be dealt with via electricity generation and distribution policies rather than on what products people choose to use, and even if products were targeted, market competition stimulation or even taxation (cross-financing energy saving bulbs to make them cheaper and equilibrate the market) would be more relevant.

Overall society energy savings are less than 1% from regulations (US Dept of Energy and EU data), and people will not save money anyway = subsidised or tariff raising electricity companies, for any less electricity used, as already seen in California, Ohio etc

See http://ceolas.net/#li171x
freedomlightbulb.blogspot.com

Scott M said...

Any such worries should be dealt with via electricity generation and distribution policies rather than on what products people choose to use

You realize, of course, you would be trying to persuade the same types that think nothing of putting centrally-controlled thermostats on private homes and businesses, right?

Surely you have a wall nearby. Try explaining it to that to get an idea about how much effect it would have.

ken in sc said...

Actually Charlottesville is the Madison of the South; or maybe Chapel Hill, or Ashville, or the Vieux Carre. Actually, the South is a big place.

txleggs said...

"East bound and down...loaded up and truckin'"

There's light in Texarkana, there's darkness in Atlanta...we gonna' do what they say can't be done..."


(Do black trans ams with T-tops count as a fad? albeit 1970s)

Kirk Parker said...

"Think about marijuana... "

Oh good grief. I am by no means an advocate of marijuana use, but every time I think of marijuana, the first thought that comes to mind is, "Our predecessors thought it require a whole frickin' constitutional amendment for the Fed Gov to ban the sale and usage of alcohol... what changed???"

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