« Ind. Courts - More on: Gary-based child support court move to Crown Point reignites controversy | Main | Law - GAO issues report on SORNA implementation issues »

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Ind. Law - "Dan Carpenter: It's not the little folks the farm-fish-hunt amendment aims to serve"

Dan Carpenter had this Feb. 6th column today in the Indianapolis Star. Some quotes:

The prospect of an animal-rights lawyer robbing Hoosiers of the right to hunt, fish and farm beggars the imagination; but there's no overestimating the political fertility of paranoia, nor the eagerness of demagogues to plow that ground. * * *

Which makes more sense, after all? That the farmer and rod- and gun-bearer of our Hoosier heritage are in danger from sinister vegetarian forces -- or that large corporate-owned livestock operations are using their influence in the Statehouse to ward off complaints and lawsuits from the small farmers who suffer as their neighbors?

Animal-rights activists have had their impact, to be sure; on issues such as puppy mills, canned hunting, inhumane treatment of animals in mass confined breeding. That would seem to square with Hoosier heritage.

More pertinent to the amendment push is a class-action lawsuit brought by family farmers and others, who convinced the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2011 that the Right to Farm Act did not immunize confined animal feeding operations whose waste became a nuisance.

Promoters of the constitutional amendment insist it would not give farming -- or hunting or fishing -- a free pass. What it would do, however, is send a message to government and neighbors alike that they would make trouble for this eminent source of revenue at their political peril.

Big business, not small farmers and not hunters and fishermen, stands to benefit from anti-regulation measures in a state that already ranks among the nation's worst in soil, water and air quality. To portray this special-interest favor as grassroots traditionalism is an insult to town and country folks alike.

See also this Feb. 5th ILB post, headed "Should we pass a constitutional amendment when no one knows what it means?"

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 7, 2013 02:29 PM
Posted to Indiana Law