Skip to comments.The Feds Can Tell Ernest Hemingway's Cats What To Do; Here's Why [Totalitarian Fed power grab]
Posted on 12/10/2012 9:43:13 PM PST by Slings and Arrows
Cats were everywhere. Fifty or so of them. In the house. On the lawn. Sunning themselves on the wall surrounding the property.
Most were six-toed making them polydactyls. That's different. The cats you usually see have five toes on each paw in the front. Four on each in the back.
They were descendants of Snowball, a present from a ship's captain. A gift to writer Ernest Hemingway. He Hemingway, that is died in 1961.
About 10 years ago, a visitor to the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West thought something was wrong. Were the cats being treated well? The museum said yes. The visitor, who had doubts, filed a complaint with the feds. It's a complaint that's gone to the courts.
Yes, Hemingway's cats are a federal case.
Now, as Christian Science Monitor correspondent Warren Richey tells NPR's Robert Siegel, a ruling has come down: The U.S. Department of Agriculture can regulate how the cats are treated, judges say. The museum gets visitors from out-of-state. It charges those visitors to see Hemingway's home and the famous cats. Interstate commerce gives Uncle Sam an interest, according to the courts.
So the feds can tell the museum to build a higher fence. Or to give the cats some more elevated "condos" to sleep in. The government also could levy fines if the museum doesn't cooperate. Will the museum appeal, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court? Nobody knows just yet.
Richey's written about all this for the Monitor. His story is here. Want to see the cats? There's video of them.
All Things Considered will have more on this later. We'll add the interview to the top of this post when it's ready. Click here if you want to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.
As for the cats, they're not commenting. We have our doubts, though, that they'll do what the law says. They're cats.
They made that power grab in the 1960s. See "Heart of Atlanta Motel"
Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964)
“If this ruling is upheld federalism has been unilaterally abolished.”
This ruling is not necessary. Feds have had the power to regulate ANYTHING that might cross state lines for a long time.
Case in point are federal firearm and drug laws. Even firearms or drugs manufactured and used entirely within one state fall under federal law. And as we see with firearms and drugs, the feds will use one of their agencies to harass private citizens that are doing something completely legal within their own state.
The Constitution was torn up long ago. We are simply seeing the results
I think what is really going on here is that in “Ol’ Frank” Roosevelt’s time, there was a massive expansion of federal power using the excuse of the Interstate Commerce Clause of the constitution. The federal courts have so perverted this, that it is now interpreted as meaning both “Inter-” and “Intra-” state commerce. Basically that the feds have the power to regulate ALL commerce.
Then, when LBJ (it was supposed to be JFK) was president, he did another massive expansion of federal power to create the welfare state, using the General Welfare Clause of the constitution as his excuse. This was most recently cited by Nancy Pelosi as a major rationale for Obamacare.
Well, the John Roberts SCOTUS decision, while accepting the concept of Obamacare, *crippled* this misuse of both the Interstate and General Welfare Clauses to advance the growth of the federal government.
However the feds, and likely many federal judges, want this abusive authority back. This suggests that there may soon be a whole surfeit of petty cases, like this one, that federal judges will use these extremely misinterpreted constitutional clauses to justify, to “rebuild them in precedent”.
To further the expansion of federal power far beyond what it is today.
Feds have had the power to regulate ANYTHING that might cross state lines for a long time.
Yes, but the cats haven’t crossed state lines.
Only the visitors. Why don’t they regulate them?
Our furniture looks bad enough with a five-toed cat.
Cats aren’t dumb. They’ll find a new palace if the current one isn’t treating them as royally as they think they should be treated. If fifty of the them are at the museum, then they’re being treated fine. Case closed and tax dollars saved. The judge should assign 10 years of poop patrol to that ding bat who brought the charges.
There is always a solution.
Wickard v. Filburn: like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving.
Good news for those who played with plastic models of polydactyls when they were kids—the asteroid didn’t kill them all off after all.
I can only hope that this decision is appealed, then; still, it seems that we’re losing a war of attrition.
Using their logic (that since it still affected the national totals when looked at in the aggregate with everyone else that might do it, it was therefore still under Federal control), the Commerce Clause could now be applied to anything at any time.
Aren’t you going to do something? They’re *your* cats.
OK, flying pterodactyl-kitties would be completely awesome.