Assorted Stupidity #87

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an Alaskan hunter who was prevented by the National Park Service from using his hovercraft to go moose-hunting. It did not rule that he had the right to use the hovercraft, necessarily, only that the Ninth Circuit had misinterpreted the federal law in question.
  • No, “Trump supporter” is not a protected class. Refusing to rent to someone based on political affiliation may not be a very civil thing to do, but it doesn’t violate the Fair Housing Act, according to HUD. NOTE: some state laws may be broad enough to preclude discrimination based on political affiliation, although the only one I’ve seen specifically mentioned is California’s Unruh Act, and I’m skeptical about that. Still, you have been warned.
  • The Johnson City Press reports that a federal judge in Tennessee has dismissed a squirrel-related civil-rights lawsuit. Unfortunately, the squirrel’s rights weren’t at issue; the case involved a police officer who was asked to help get the squirrel out of a Dollar General Store and did so by taking a shot at it. He missed, but was terminated for using his weapon unsafely and refusing to file the required “discharge report.” The court held his due-process rights had not been violated.
  • Does that opinion deserve fuller treatment? It probably does.
  • Finally, the Maryland Senate has voted to amend the state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.” It’s a nice song, it’s just that it was originally a Confederate anthem and includes the line, “Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum,” as well as references to “patriotic gore” and crucifixion. (I found it kind of amusing that this is set to the tune of “O Tannenbaum.”) The song is also, unsurprisingly, not all that friendly to Abraham Lincoln. The state House of Representatives still must consider the bill.