Sunday, January 29, 2006

The ordeal endured by these young women (“Criminals? Or Just Having Some Fun?,” Detroit Free Press, January 27, 2006) exemplifies the demise of common sense in this nation as it continues its inexorable slide into Nanny Statism. Reduced to groveling before a black-robed dictator, Mary Meerschaert’s mother understandably refuses to say her daughter “didn’t make a mistake” when she committed the “crime” of underage drinking. So I will say it for her.

Underage drinking in and of itself has nothing to do with putting others in harm’s way. These young women were not driving. No life or property was damaged as a result of their actions. Miss Meerschaert blew a mere .02 the night of her prom, which denotes a level of imbibing so restrained she couldn’t possibly have been putting herself—let alone others—in harm’s way because of it. For Judge Martone to state he works “to help kids like this,” even as he throws them in the hoosegow and wreaks havoc with their college careers, rings hollow and disingenuous indeed.

More likely, “the Honorable” Judge Martone is punishing them because he objects to their “brazen” use of the Internet, i.e., their free exercise of First Amendment rights, to thumb their noses at his cruel and arbitrary edicts. The young women’s crime lies only in their lese majesty.

Like them, we should all feel “betrayed by the legal system.” No less an authority than Thomas Jefferson warned that, of the three branches of government, the judiciary poses the gravest threat to liberty. Drunks who kill and maim and destroy property typically have rap sheets the length of their forearms. Judge Martone would do well to sic his agents on this element—and cease and desist from misallocating scarce criminal-justice resources in vendettas against young social drinkers.


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