Vote3rdpartynow Makes the Case For Liberalism and Against Strict Construction

Before getting the facts and editing his/her post, including the headline of the whole post, user Vote3rdpartynow was in a huff that cops allegedly shut down a kid’s lemonade stand.

As V3PN summarized:

The details – a 12 year old sets up a lemonade stand with the help of his mother and sister.  The mother goes inside to make lunch for the sister, and upon returning finds that the state police have shut down the lemonade stand.

Why was the lemonade stand shut down?  V3PN quotes the victim’s guardian:

because this [the lemonade stand] required a permit, and my stepson did not have a permit to sell drinks.

The law requires purveyors of beverages to have a permit to sell those beverages.  That’s the law.  Of course, conservatism requires strict construction of the law.  No activist interpretations.  Law & order.  That’s conservatism.

V3PN continued:

The second question is – Is someone really concerned that the kids might make a few bucks without having to pay income taxes on it?  Or is someone really concerned that the kids are going to spike the lemonade with some kind of poison that only a registered/licensed lemonade stand could detect?  Or is someone afraid the lemonade may have trans fats?  What exactly is the problem that makes someone think that hassling little kids is okay in the name of liberalism?

V3PN, desperate to make “liberals” the boogeyman in the situation, asks why hassling little kids is “okay in the name of liberalism”.  However, just because V3PN types something like “in the name of liberalism” doesn’t make it so.

Why was the little kid hassled?  Because the law required purveyors of beverages to have a permit.  And strict construction requires strict, word-for-word interpretation with no discretion.  Conservatism required the cops (or whoever it was – apparently DCR) to shut down the little kid’s lemonade stand.  At least, that’s when you use “facts” and rely on the correct definitions of “words.”  “Conservative” and “liberal” do not mean “good” and “bad,” respectively.  Those polysyllabic words have actual meanings.  And, because conservatism includes strict construction of laws, conservatism required the cops or whoever to shut down the little kid’s lemonade stand.

Liberalism allows for common sense to be injected into situations – or, as conservatives frequently call it in fits of paranoia, “activist judges” and whatnot.  Liberalism allows for looser construction of laws to fit reality.  Liberalism would allow a police officer or DCR employee to make a distinction between a restaurant/bar/street vendor/kiosk and a little kid selling ten-cent cups of lemonade on his or her front lawn.  Liberalism allows for that cop to use due discretion and not hassle the kid running the lemonade stand.

That’s why “strict construction” doesn’t always work and why liberalism can be, and often is, a more reliable, more efficient, fairer, and more effective way to govern and execute laws instead of conservatism.

I’d like to thank V3PN for making such an effective case against strict construction in interpreting and executing laws and for making such a strong and effective case for liberalism.  Well done, V3PN.

About ConcernedVoterInMass


  1. Ya know what CVIM – the point of the post is that a government entity shut down a lemonade stand run by a 12 year old child.  

    If my daughter bakes some cookies to sell at a bake sale – will she have to fear her kitchen being raided by OSHA, FDA or some other government group?  The point is that the general hackerama in government takes itself way too seriously.  If you can’t understand that then you will never understand the point of the tea party.

    This story got coverage simply because it is a perfect example of a government wildly out of control.  Government now feels it needs to interject itself into the sale of lemonade by a child on the side of the road – regulating, licensing and authority is not needed.

  2. Rather shoddy strawman:  1) conservatism requires strict construction of the law 2) you protest the stict enforcement of a particular statute.  Therefore, liberalism is more fair.

    “Conservatism requires strict contruction”.  Cite please, authority or something other than a rule which is the strawthinking product of your bias.  

    You hopefully well know judges or justices rule actively or with restraint and it probably has little to do with whether the judge is liberal, conservative, democrat or republican. Judicial history is rife with examples.  If in your travels you note that a judge ‘stretched’ to find her brand of justice, does that automatically make her a liberal?  You seem to think so. You’re mistaken.

  3. “Strict Construction” is a judicial philosophy.

    It is about judges showing restraint.

    It is not about lemonade stand permits or policemen hassling little kids.

    Just judges.

    In your zeal to lampoon an RMGer against whom you apparently bear a grudge, you have concocted this rather busy argument, and have woven it lavishly around a concept that is totally irrelevant – the matter of the lemonade stand is not in the courts.

    No court = no judge.

    No judge = no Strict Construction.

    It seems as though you’re trying really hard to come across as an intellectual.

    But from the look of it, you’ve been having scant success.

    My advice? Start with something smaller.

  4. “Liberalism allows for common sense to be injected into situations”…best giggle I’ve had in a long time.

    Common sense for an ideology that has no problem regulating every any aspect of anyone’s life?  Your arguement is entertaining because it is extreme and useful for purposes of a discussion.  And I’d agree there are some aspects to conservatism that seems to contradict the overall general positions.  But seriously.  Liberalism have no problem controlling what people eat, smoke, drink, right down to whether I wear seat belt or helmet.  Reliance on mandates, bans, and taxation is their lot.  Could one argue conservatives have their own canards when it comes to specific social issues….sure.  But you honestly believe liberals exercise more common sense…BALDERDASH.

    Thanks again….best giggle in weeks

  5. ConcernedVoterInMass

    Why did that evil “government entity” (that you’re still unclear about – way to gather facts, Cronkite) shut down the lemonade stand?  Because they’re were following the strictest interpretation of the letter of the law.

    You can deny the simplest definition of very easy-to-grasp words, but what you’re actually decrying here is strict construction of laws.

    Live with it, pal – you brought it up.

  6. ConcernedVoterInMass

    Not here:

    Perry also signed a pledge this week offered by an anti-abortion group called the Susan B. Anthony List that commits him to selecting only “strict constructionist” judges and anti-abortion appointees to Cabinet and executive branch positions.

    And not here:

    Sen. John McCain moved to shore up his support among conservatives by pledging Tuesday to nominate strict constructionist, conservative judges to the federal bench.

    And definitely not here:

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani pledged to appoint “strict constructionist” judges to the federal bench during a campaign visit Wednesday to this city located in the southwest corner of the Hawkeye State.

    “I would appoint judges like Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito … Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas,” Giuliani said.

    He added, “We have to appoint strict constructionist judges because judges interpret the constitution. They should not be allowed to make it up… They will not get it into their heads that they’re really legislators and that they can go around changing things.”

    A strict constructionist judge tries to determine the original meaning of the Constitution based on nothing more than the words provided in the document itself. Judges of this philosophy often attempt to decipher the founding fathers’ original intent.

    I’ve lost count of how many examples of this there are — these were the first three of countless many to come up.  I honestly got bored.

    But keep your head in the sand, chief.

  7. BAM!!!!!

    Kudos for wasting your time bitch-slapping this fool for half-assing yet another personal attack post…..

  8. ConcernedVoterInMass

    I know you’re desperate to get every concept, every word, every thought constrained as myopically as possible to make them easier to grasp.  (Here’s the definition of myopic.  I’d hate for you to be at a loss.)

    Your equals signs are incredibly compelling though.

    Too bad cogent ideas trump stupid and desperate.

  9. ConcernedVoterInMass
  10. ?!?!

    What does that mean? Second to go was spelling, then punctuation.  Reason went first.

    I’ve lost count of how many examples of this there are …

    And there went math.

    Examples of ‘strict constructionists’?  You mean like Hugo Black, appointed by FDR.

    Or, maybe Thurgood Marshal, appointed by LBJ, who famously opined “The rule that penal laws are to be construed strictly is perhaps not much less old than construction itself…Absent clear congressional direction, this Court cannot enlarge the statute.”

    Or do you mean ‘strict construction’ with regards to statutes that provide for self help.  For example, a mechanics lien.  Massachusetts courts typically apply strict construction, because if the lawmakers are going to allow self help they better set the rules clear and enforce them strictly since the actions by one person against another’s property are outside the view of the court. A strict construction makes sense. Wouldn’t you agree?!?!

    In fact, it’s the rule not the exception, that an opinion adopts the Canon of strict construction to first, examine the language of the applicable law, reg…then move beyond the plain meaning of the words only if necessary.  That’s not conservative or liberal; it’s judicial reasoning.

    So please drone on and on about conservative equals strict construction and liberal equals something else, but it’s your strawman talking as you attempt to draw arguments around your flawed premise and bias that Democrats are good and Republicans evil.

  11. it’s “common sense” when some violent thug breaks into your house to harm you and your family or steal your stuff…..and you HAVE a gun……that if you use it, you go to jail because you didn’t run and hide in your closet and wait for the government officials to save you.

  12. And high fived for using “BALDERDASH”.

  13. I was torn trying to decide whether to use BALDERDASH or POPPYCOCK!

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