Thursday, April 01, 2010

Wingnuttery at its finest

Utah governor decides taking back federal lands is a good idea. (Has he conveniently forgotten the Indians own some of it?)
On Saturday, Gov. Gary Herbert signed two bills authorizing efforts to invoke eminent domain as a way to reclaim land from the U.S. government, which owns more than 60% of Utah. Lawmakers say the gambit could lead to a court ruling that permits Utah to take back valuable parcels, including a coal-rich plateau, from the feds. Proceeds from developing those lands would be used to bankroll the state's cash-strapped public schools. “This is the solution to being the lowest-funded education system in the nation,” Utah Rep. Ken Sumsion, a Republican, told the Salt Lake Tribune last month.
As the Wall Street Journal and the AP report, however, it's highly unlikely that judges would back a bid to seize federal lands:
The goal is to spark a U.S. Supreme Court battle that legislators' own attorneys acknowledge has little chance of success.
But Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and other Republicans say the case is still worth fighting, since the state could reap millions of dollars for state schools each year if it wins.
States' rights! States' rights! Bring back states' rights!!

States' rights as "code word"

The term "states' rights," some have argued,[11] was used as a code word by defenders of segregation.[citation needed] It was the official name of the "Dixiecrat" party led by white supremacist presidential candidate Strom Thurmond.[12][13] George Wallace, the Alabama governor—who famously declared in his inaugural address, "Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!"—later remarked that he should have said, "States' rights now! States' rights tomorrow! States' rights forever!"[citation needed] Wallace, however, claimed that segregation was but one issue symbolic of a larger struggle for states' rights; in that view, which some historians dispute, his replacement of segregation with states' rights would be more of a clarification than a euphemism.[14]

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