Great Drama & Comedy

     “She expressed her feeling that she was ‘done with’ her marriage. M.H. and the Trooper-Grievant proceeded to have consensual sex.”
     So many thoughts …
     OK, first off, the above is the worst description of a lurid scene I’ve ever seen. Here you have this great plot, charged with drama and lust, and the best the author can come up with is “proceeded to have consensual sex.”
     No wonder hardly anyone reads appellate rulings.
     The quote is from an Alaska Supreme Court decision, State of Alaska v. Public Safety Employees Association, which tells the racy tale of an Alaskan state trooper who may have inadvertently discovered a revolutionary new way to cement public-police relations and relieve crime victim trauma.
     Consider the benefits. Crime victims – and witnesses, for that matter – would be eager to call the authorities. The sight of a uniform would bring smiles to faces instead of fear.
     And the healing process would begin immediately.
     Police recruitment would no longer be a problem.
     This might seem obvious to you and me, but for some reason, the Director of State Troopers decided to fire the hero of this story.
     Five years of litigation and a trip to the Alaska Supreme Court ensued.
     Apparently, someone thinks no expense should be spared when protecting the public from someone who’s had consensual sex.
     And someone who’s had consensual sex thinks no expense should be spared to keep one of those high-paying law enforcement jobs.
     It’s heartwarming when people defend their principles like that.
     The Alaska court, in case you’re wondering, split 3-2 on this thing but all of them seemed to think the trooper should have been fired. The majority, though, upheld a grant of back pay ordered by an arbitrator.
     Which means no one was happy with the result. This is the way great drama should be constructed.
     Now why does Trooper-Grievant sound like a Star Wars character?
     Constitutionality: Can the Constitution be unconstitutional?
     If you’re not eligible to serve in an office, do you still have the right to run for that office?
     These are not trivial questions.
     Well, OK, they are trivial questions, but you still have the right to ask them. I know this because they were answered last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a ruling called Lindsay v. Bowen.
     I love this ruling because it offers so many fascinating questions.
     Here are the first two sentences from Chief Judge Alex Kozinski:
     “Like Stephen Colbert before her, Peta Lindsay didn’t want to become president of the United States. She just wanted to run.”
     Question No. 1: What about Pat Paulsen?
     Question No. 2: Am I getting too old for my audience if Question No. 1 is the first thing that comes to mind? (Switch to your search engine if you don’t know your comedy presidential election history and learn something.)
     Question No. 3: Does the Constitution’s 35-year-old age requirement for presidents violate the Free Speech and Equal Protection clauses? (Before you scoff, consider that the last two are in amendments.)
     Question No. 4: Is it more practical for the California Secretary of State to keep a hopeless candidate off the ballot or to litigate up to the Ninth Circuit?
     Question No. 5: Is it more practical for a hopeless candidate to run an educational (or comedy) campaign on TV and the Internet or to litigate up to the Ninth Circuit?
     I’m guessing no one is happy with the result. This is the way great comedy should be constructed.
     Now why does Peta Lindsay sound like a Hunger Games character?

%d bloggers like this: