[FoRK] Welcome to the American Totality. You've been warned.

Lawnun <lawnun at gmail.com> on Mon Feb 4 08:33:19 PST 2008

>
> > --
> >
> > http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124751.html
> >
> > A Mississippi lawmaker and three co-sponsors have introduced a bill
> > that would....well, let's just quote straight from the bill:
> >
> > Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be
> > allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria
> > prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with
> > the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management
> > established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor.
>

This bill has all the hallmarks of being unconstitutional.  After all, you
can't get much better than a bill that is both vague AND overbroad. I mean,
it applies (at least upon a cursory examination of the underlying law (
http://www.mscode.com/free/statutes/41/003/0015.htm) to nearly every
restaurant in the state. So apparently, all people (both of Mississippi and
presumably elsewhere) who are "obese" would be barred from eating, unless of
course, they made the food themselves. Or restaurants stopped seating
people.

Jeff: As far as your original statement re: smoking -- I don't think it
follows.  As Stephen said, regulation of smoking in food/business
establishments regulates a public health concern that impacts everyone --
both smokers and non-smokers alike. The point where I'll agree that it
becomes overbearing nannystate, is when the government steps in to ban
smoking outright. A simple inconvenience to the smoker does not minimize his
or her right to engage in the behavior, any more than requiring hunters to
assume care when using their firearms to shoot at game near populated
areas.

Incidentally, Mississippi has yet to ban smoking.

My guess is that the impetus for the legislation (which no one actually
believes will pass)  was more out of concern from the state's immense
medical welfare bill (
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/02/03/wobese103.xml),
rather than some sort of paternalistic need to control individual liberties.


Appropos of nothing -- I'm always blown away with arguments made from the
staunch personal liberties camp re: the smoking ban.  Do the folks who
viscerally object to smoking regulation in restaurants also feel that state
regulation of drunken driving is also abhorrent ?

Carey (who has decided to try her hand at keeping up with FoRK again...)

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