Thursday, January 17, 2008

California Dreaming

It's always wise to keep an eye on events in California in the same sense that it's prudent to keep an eye on the Congress-critters. The congress critters are more direct, but legal trends seem to originate in California - often of a rather depressing nature.

California is one of those states whose constitution may be modified by citizen initiative without the intervention of the legislature.

In this instance, there's a delightfully libertarian initiative floating about (we can but hope for the required number of signatures that reads "The State of California, counties, cities and any governmental entities within the State shall not make any law or ordinance that prevents any citizen from owning or acquiring legally, property nor shall there be a limit to the amount of property acquired, grown or produced or owned.

There shall be no law(s) or ordinance language enacted that abridge this mandate
enacted by the citizens of the State of California."

Now, should this both make it on the ballot and pass, a number of intriguing possibilities eventuate - the initiative does not, for instance, distinguish between real and personal property - which has some interesting possibilities when viewed against various California "ownership restrictions" on such a wide range of items as land, marijuana, firearms, the full range of vehicles marketable in the other 49 states, and the many other restrictive statutes currently in place under California law.

This could, perhaps, be fun to watch. Even more so were the initiative more clearly written, but with California, one must take what little one gets.

Note also that this doesn't in any way touch upon zoning issues or, for that matter, the regulation of conduct. While, for example, it might theoretically bar the state from banning the possession of marijuana (or semi-automatic rifles) - it is sufficiently limited in scope that the Legislature could still bar or regulate the *use* of property.

And that, for California, is a huge step in the direction of liberty. For a normal state, not so much.

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