From a Washington Post article about Caylee’s Law:
[Michelle] Crowder said in a phone interview that she had not spoken to any law enforcement officials before coming up with the proposal — she relied on a quick Google search and the belief that lawmakers would look into the details.
This was a frequent response to my Huffington Post piece as well. Sure, the law may be flawed. But we can count on our careful, thoughtful lawmakers to sort out the details. That’s democracy!
Here in Tennessee, the Caylee’s Law bill is sponsored by state Sen. Bill Ketron. Here’s what Ketron wrote on Twitter yesterday:
Ketron didn’t Tweet, “I look forward to holding hearings on whether or not such a law is necessary in Tennessee.” No, he wants to get this done “quickly,” while outrage over the Casey Anthony verdict is still hot. And, presumably, while he can still claim the mantle of the politician who “speaks for children who can’t speak for themselves” or some similar self-aggrandizing nonsense.
And Ketron has a history of negligent lawmaking. A few highlights:
- He introduced an immigration bill that would make Arizona look like a sanctuary state. Ketron’s bill would require Tennessee law enforcement to demand papers from anyone they stop who looks or sounds “foreign”, regardless of whether any laws were broken. It would also allow any resident of Tennessee to sue any government official they believe is inadequately enforcing the law.
- Ketron’s “Cyber Bullying” law has on-point lessons to Caylee’s Law. Ketron introduced the bill after hearing a story in Texas about a mother who tormented one of her daughter’s rivals for the cheerleading team until the rival killed herself. The problem? Ketron’s bill, which is now law in Tennessee, makes it a felony to post any image online that causes “emotional distress” to anyone else. It is clearly unconstitutional.
- Ketron also introduced Tennessee’s asinine, headline-grabbing bill that would make it a felony to “practice Sharia law” in the state. Ketron later had to rewrite the bill when it became clear that hadn’t the slightest idea what “Sharia law” actually means. (The bulk of the bill was written by a guy who thinks there’s merit in denying blacks and women the right to vote.)
By the way, Ketron isn’t on the fringes of Tennessee politics. He heads up the state senate’s GOP caucus.
If your plan is to rely on politicians to “sort out the details” and temper the hysteria with calm, thoughtful legislating, you’re making a huge mistake.