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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Concealed carry found unconstitutional

A district court judge found today that the concealed carry law passed in 2002 is unconstitutional. A group of churches challenged the bill's constitutionality, and they came away with a victory today. Interestingly, the decision has nothing to do with the subject of the law, but rather with how it was enacted. The ruling is based on the fact that the state constitution requires legislative bills to deal with a single subject only. However, in order to get the bill passed, the Republicans amended the concealed carry bill to an unrelated bill dealing with the Department of Natural Resources. This stepped over the line, according to the judge, and so it is null and void.

This is not the first time that a law has been found to be unconstitutional because the bill violated the single subject clause of the constitution. However, it is a rare occurrence. In my opinion, this is abused far too often, and even though I really don't care one way or the other about this bill in particular, it is nice to see that the constitution is actually being upheld. Republicans have used this tactic in recent years to deal with all sorts of hot-button issues, like guns and abortion, and it is a real disservice to the legislative process. I think that the less the legislature does, the better, so I want as many roadblocks as possible thrown up to keep things from becoming law.

It looks like this decision is going to be appealed, which is expected. I hope that the decision will be upheld, and that the state Supreme Court will force the legislature to stop their shenanigans and legislate fairly.

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