Both houses of the legislature in Connecticut have approved legislation aimed at requiring the labeling of (near-ubiquitous) foodstuffs with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients. The Senate’s version includes an “all jump off together” clause preventing it from going into effect until at least four states have joined in on the idea, which must cumulatively have a population of at least 20 million, and must include at least one state adjacent to Connecticut. [Greenwich Time, Ron Bailey, related ("food companies should just go ahead and slap labels on everything they sell reporting: 'This product may contain ingredients derived from safe modern biotechnology.'")] Earlier here (NY Times is surprisingly sensible on subject), here, here, here, etc.
Daniel Fisher explains how new restrictions by Connecticut lawmakers on ammunition sales are having the presumably unintended effect of incentivizing hunting and sporting users of guns to seek concealed-carry permits. [Forbes]
Who to blame after a freak atrocity? For many of those who’ve felt obliged to comment, the question seems rather who not to blame:
- Lack of a national gun registry [cited by the New York Times, though the relevant weapon in Newtown was properly registered and posed no tracing difficulties to authorities; Jacob Sullum]
- Non-prosecution of people who lie on gun applications [cited by NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, though there's no indication that anyone lied on a gun application in the Lanza case; Jacob Sullum again]
- Lack of cops in schools [Eli Lehrer on one of the NRA's bad ideas]
- Violence in videogames [Jacob Sullum on another of the NRA's bad ideas; more, Scott Shackford, Andrew Sullivan]
- Advances for secular and socially liberal causes in the recent U.S. elections [Michael Potemra and Peter Wehner on the comments of James Dobson]
- Congress, for its role in blocking an organized campaign to bankrupt gun makers through tort suits [Slate and, earlier, Erwin Chemerinsky, trying to revive this truly bad idea]
- People who want to reform public education and the organization of teaching [Katherine Mangu-Ward, though the union advocates she cites are claiming something closer to "this proves we're right" than to "school choice causes shootings."]
- In general, those terrible people who disagree with us ["Reading discussions on the web, you might come to believe that we don’t all share the goal of a society where the moral order is preserved, and where our children can be put on the bus to school without a qualm. But we do. We just disagree about how to make it happen." -- Dave Hoffman, Concur Op]
(& welcome Scott Greenfield, Jack Shafer readers)
Through garden tours and charitable dinners, Chrissie D’Esopo has raised some $175,000 over the years at her beautiful home in Avon, Ct., near Hartford. Following a lawsuit over a slip and fall — not to mention the claim filed by the visitor’s uninjured husband — she’s decided to call it quits, but might reconsider on hearing of a recently passed Connecticut recreational-immunity law that extends legal protection to property owners who do not profit from a visitor’s presence. Notes a commenter: “This is why we can’t have nice things.” [Hartford Courant]
“Is It Libel to Say Someone Was Arrested When the Arrest Record Has Been Erased?” Last year the New Jersey Supreme Court said no in a case raising the same issue as to convictions, saying the law’s expungement provision
is not intended to create an Orwellian scheme whereby previously public information — long maintained in official records — now becomes beyond the reach of public discourse on penalty of a defamation action. Although our expungement statute generally permits a person whose record has been expunged to misrepresent his past, it does not alter the metaphysical truth of his past, nor does it impose a regime of silence on those who know the truth.
Now, however, a lawsuit filed in Connecticut seeks to assert similar liability as to mention of an erased arrest record. The state erasure statute provides that the person whose record is erased “shall be deemed to have never been arrested within the meaning of the general statutes with respect to the proceedings so erased and may so swear under oath.” Eugene Volokh finds the theory of liability constitutionally defective:
the First Amendment protects other people’s rights to talk about arrests that had — as a matter of historical fact — actually happened. A statute can’t rewrite history, and force others to pretend that something didn’t happen when in fact it did happen.
(& Above the Law)
Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), as part of a wider campaign to pursue maximally feminist interpretations of Title IX, successfully litigate to prevent Quinnipiac University from naming competitive cheer as a varsity sport [American Sports Council "Saving Sports"] More: Richard Epstein on Title IX; background.