Saturday, December 17, 2005

Is Hawaii still part of America?

Check out this item from the Honolulu Advertiser.

Apparently Hawaii is preparing to enforce a 12-year-old law that requires owners to pay all unpaid parking tickets before registering a car. In Hawaii, parking tickets are attached to a car, not a driver. Now, on the one hand, it's easy to see the logic in such a law. The state has a vested interest in trying to punish scofflaws.

That being said, it's absolutely ludicrous, and probably unconstitutional, to punish one person for the crimes of another. Let's take an extreme example. Suppose I legally buy a gun and later it's discovered that the previous owner had committed a murder with it. Would it be permissible for the state to punish me for that crime? Of course it's not. Most people would scoff at the idea. Yet, the rationale behind such an action is that same logic at work in the Hawaii case.

I can only hope that some outraged Hawaiian will challenge this ludicrous law. Of course, I don't have much faith in the Hawaiian courts. Hawaii is the same state that is trying to make native Hawaiians a protected group with special status and privileges under the law.

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