Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dan Duffy Defends our Constitution?

A bill sponsored by Senator Link, that would have put speed cameras around schools and hospitals, went down in a crushing defeat today. I guess Senators have decided that protecting seniors and kids is not a very high priority.

What's raising our curiosity, though, are remarks made by newbie Senator Dan Duffy that speeding cameras and red light cameras are unconstitutional. Let me get this straight: the right to break the law is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution? Sorry, I've never seen that clause.

Inquiring minds would like Dan Duffy to explain. And if the cameras are unconstitutional, why hasn't the senator challenged them in court? Or is he just "courting" votes?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

What does a business man know about constitutional law? The 26th District voted the wrong person to the State Senate.

Team America said...

Having taken plenty of Constitutional Law, it's not rocket science, Anon 6:20. At least there's no math involved. Duffy is a sharp guy by anyone's standards.

But maybe you would rather the 26th District had elected the liar Bill Gentes.

NoteMS said...

I'm keeping an open mind on Duffy. Want to see if he really will work for the folks here in the RL Area. I know he donated money to current mayor's campaign. Hopefully his generosity/agenda will go beyond funding political campaigns.

I do believe that Mayor Gentes would have served the RL area well, but we all know that there was no way Barrington types would let any person from the "arm pit of Lake County" represent them. With or without the "lie" he would not have won.

...and hey TA aren't lawyers known for lying?

Team America said...

Lawyers used to have that rep, but now it's bankers that seem to be the focus de jour of populist angst.

redtail said...

Team America: You did not answer the question. What clause in the Constitution do the red-light cameras violate? It should be a simple enough question for a lawyer to answer.

Anonymous said...

Gee Redtail. Figure it out. The owner of the vehicle gets ticketed for the crime. Not the wrongdoer. Don't pay the fine because you didn't commit the crime? The fine doubles, then triples. Eventually you lose your license.

That sounds fair, right?

The Orwelian Cameras are a revenue generating device for municipalities that now stomp all over civil liberties. Let's not pretend otherwise. Now the State of Illinois wants to generate some of that cash on State Routes?

Senator Duffy has it figured out.

Anonymous said...

Gee Redtail. Figure it out. The owner of the vehicle gets ticketed for the crime. Not the wrongdoer. Don't pay the fine because you didn't commit the crime? The fine doubles, then triples. Eventually you lose your license.

That sounds fair, right?

The Orwelian Cameras are a revenue generating device for municipalities that now stomp all over civil liberties. Let's not pretend otherwise. Now the State of Illinois wants to generate some of that cash on State Routes?

Senator Duffy has it figured out.

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

TA - one, small correction:
Unregulated bankers who did not and do not police themselves.
When your compensation is mostly based on bonuses, you will move ocean, sun, and sky to be paid 'adequately' regardless of the risk to yourself, your organization, your clients, or your country. And now, those heck-bent on keeping government out of the corporate sector are lining up for corporate welfare as if they are ENTITLED to it. Unique....

I have a hard time believing that a modicum of regulation - mostly by already-existing regulatory agencies (FTC, SEC, etc.) - would have been horrendous or worse than the current straits that many are going through, except for those like a certain Arizona resident with 6 or 7 or 8 homes - I'll have to get back to you on confirmation of how many there are (the next time Kirk talks about electoral choice, I'm going to laugh out loud).

Also, thanks in part to the stedfast 'stewardship' of said resident (and possibly Charles Keating's bank not being available), Phoenix has a disproportionte number of foreclosures and Arizona has laid- off social service workers and educators despite the (dreaded or much needed - depending on who you know) stimulus package.

Qualified candidates that are not beholden to special interests like the NRA, hedge funds, and those of a belief in moral relativism (we're at war so I can do ANYTHING like label and detain people with no granting of rights we'd claim for ourselves).

Time to re-build!

Anonymous said...

Of course TA would be a Duffyite. I am taking bets now that Duffy will be a one term wonder.

Gentes is always getting bad rap. The DH has never told the rest of the story, they just like to keep the National Enquirer type headlines going.

There are always two sides to every and I mean every story!

redtail said...

Louis, I agree that it's annoying that red-light cameras ticket the property and not the wrong-doer, but where is the Constitutionality issue? Please, just tell me.

Publius said...

I think the constitutionality of it may come in to play when it comes to a person's rights as a criminal defendant, because violation of one of these statutes is technically, a criminal offense. The problem is that the picture of your license plate by one of these machines seems to create a presumption of the owner's guilt of the offense, one which he/she must disprove to get out of the ticket.

I think this issue might be arguable simply because of the way the tickets are administered. You're given a ticket with a picture of your car that says "you're guilty, see here, we caught you. Send in your fine or if you want to contest it, here are the procedures..."

Of course, this is backwards. There is supposed to be a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but here, you have the presumption of guilt, with an opportunity for the defendant to plead his case.

Basically, the state can't have it as easy as they have it now. They need to take the pictures to court, and use them as evidence to try to convict you of the crime they are accusing you of (i.e. speeding, running a red light, etc). If you say "that's not me," or have a legitimate excuse, you can get out of it. If you ever get one, fight it all the way. Prosecutors don't have the time to enforce them, so the picture is used to scare people into thinking they're busted, so 90% of all people just pay the fine. The people who go to court and claim that someone else was driving can get out of it.

Anonymous said...

Ever heard of the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? The right to confront your accuser in a criminal matter? How do you confront a camera? How do you know it was operating properly? Yes, there is a time stamp and a picture of the light-but do they coincide correctly?
TA-I hope you didn't attend my law school. Yikes!

Doc Holliday said...

Unfortunately, there is precedent for this type of legislation in the seat belt laws. Doesn't make it right and we have started down a slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but seat belt law violations are actually observed by a police officer, who then testifies about what he/she observed.
BTW, want a really interesting argument against these cameras-the 5th Amendment coupled with the 9th Amendment.

esquared said...

Note should be taken that TA claimed to have taken plenty of constitutional law (the standard law school program calls for 2. 2 is not plenty.) and to demonstrate the padding of his self-authenticated statement, he then utterly failed to address the actual constitutional issue. It apparently WAS rocket-science for TA. But thanks for the 'sharp-guy' analysis of Duffy. He needs TA to pump him up because GOP Senate staffers think he is a blow-hard and a lightweight. He didn't hit the ground running, he just hit the ground with a large, squishy plop.

As to this so-called constitutional question, good luck with that challenge, sports fans. The same issue was raised in the tollway cameras and resoundingly decided in favor of the state. The red-light camera ordinances were written with regard to the many other states which have these laws and such laws passed constitutional muster. Duffy didn't know what he was talking about, as usual.

redtail said...

Okay, let's try to keep it civil, everybody. This issue intrigued me so much that, absent much substantive comment before today, I did a little research on my own. The main group fighting these cameras is the ACLU which has brought suit in several states including Minnesota and Louisiana on constitutional grounds. Granted, I'm a non-lawyer, but it seems that if Mr. Duffy did any research at all, he was simply repeating ACLU talking points, which have gone down to defeat in these and other states already.

esquared said...

And the reason why Duffy's empty-headed regurgitation of someone else's ideas, and TA's endorsement thereof is that the law in question originated from a Democrat legislature. Specious constitutional arguments are the bastion of spurious partisanship. Duffy and TA represent the party of 'NO' and that's what they've brought us here in Lake County -- No reform in county government; No relief from the 17th highest property taxes in the nation; No representation in the Illinois House of Representatives for Northern Lake County; and No plans or ideas for moving the State or Lake County forward. Instead we get psuedo-legal blibber-blabber from the peanut gallery.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget non-binding referendums on road initiatives that the County has little control over (can you say State Routes Illinois 53 and 120?)

What have Beaubien, Duffy, and Cole done for the area that the average constituent can point to?

What can it be said that the State-wide and County GOP has done for the area, the state, and the nation besides putting forth candidates who can afford to run for office though appear to lack the willingness to compromise, to truly understand a day in the life of their constituents, and who are more concerned about finger pointing and labeling than accomplishing something (Mr. Murphy: "There must be a middle ground" concerning solving the budget crisis. What is his tangible suggestion?)

Anonymous said...

Redtail-Minnesota did rule the cameras were violative of the law. But it was a more techincal argument as to who passed the law-local v. state, that lead to the defeat.