Judge Steals My Money

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A judge in New Orleans is forcing the federal government to pay for something that no law says it must pay for. The judge has no authority to force the federal government to pay for people to stay in hotels. This is telling:

"FEMA cannot assure the court that it will process all or most of the applications of the persons living in hotels and-or motels by Jan. 7, 2006," Duval wrote. "The court is convinced that many persons in the putative class will be irreparably harmed by FEMA's admitted inability to process the pending applications."

So? What's that got to do with the justice system? It may be bad policy, but it is not illegal policy. No law says FEMA has to provide housing until they finish processing the applications.

Bloomberg adds:

"Underlying FEMA's position is a theme that every person ultimately has to take" care of himself, the judge wrote. "That position is unduly callous under the circumstances wrought by Katrina."

You can believe it is "unduly callous," but the law doesn't permit you to rule based on that belief.

The New York Times notes:

The judge said he based his ruling on the federal law that authorized FEMA. It requires the government to ease suffering and damage caused by natural disasters. The arbitrary deadline violates that legislation, Judge Duval wrote, and discriminates against victims based on their economic status.

The government DID ease suffering. The law does not require FEMA to provide help for some specific period of time or to some certain degree; there's no prohibition of an arbitrary deadline, or a goal that must be met before a deadline can be enforced. The judge is just making up what he thinks is fair, which he has no right to do.

And that nonsense about economic status is socialist garbage, completely unsupported by any federal law.

In the end, Duval decides that because he is a federal judge, he can and will rewrite federal law, clearly violating the Constitution, and stealing my money.

Well, OK, technically he is not stealing my money, as he is only ordering FEMA to take my money. If he actually forced FEMA to do it, that would be theft. FEMA does not have to comply, and should not. slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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