Monday, January 26, 2009

Case against OK3 dropped

With the 10th U.S. Court of Appeals -- as well as simple honesty and decency -- weighing in against him, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson relented and withdrew his politically motivated legal attack on the Oklahoma 3.

If you recall, in December the court struck down as unconstitutional the law that Edmondson was using to threaten Rick Carpenter, a Tulsa political activist; Susan Johnson, head of National Voter Outreach; and Paul Jacob, president of Citizens in Charge and former executive director of U.S. Term Limits. Edmondson responded not with an apology, but with an attempt to save the unconstitutional law. Fortunately, the court refused Edmondson's request for a rehearing and he was forced to concede.

There are two key lessons to take from this case.

First, the political class will go to great lengths to oppose any limitations on their power. The measures that arouse the ire of Edmondson and his enablers were the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a measure to cap state spending; the other, a property rights measure called Protect Our Homes. The fact that these limitations on government were being advanced through citizen referenda made them ever the more threatening to the Oklahoma establishment.

Second, the good guys often win and it is worth our time to try. The First Amendment guarantees our right to petition the government and because of the OK3 case we have another precedent that this all-important amendment is still in force. Let's use it.