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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | Back issues
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I love it when a piece of litigation makes my head spin.

This is why I read lawsuits and appellate rulings - I want to be astonished, amazed, and filled with wonder at the pursuits of humanity.

I want to push the boundaries of my mental processes by asking myself the tough questions that exceptional litigation brings to mind.

Questions like: why would anyone spend 15 years litigating over the number of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park?

Go read a 10th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling called State of Wyoming v. U.S. Department of Interior and have your mind blown.

Not only does this case pit pro-snowmobilers against anti-snowmobilers, but it pits a state and county against the federal government.

Now sit back and do what I do: ask the background question. Couldn't all these people have been doing something else like sleigh-riding instead of spending all that time and money on lawsuits over snowmobiles?

Or it could be that I'm missing something important?

I admit I've never snowmobiled (nor seen the point in it). It doesn't seem like one of life's necessities. But it may be that there are hordes of snowmobilers out there who can't help but ride those things and have to ride them somewhere.

At least that's what Park County, Wyoming and the state of Wyoming appear to be saying.

According to the ruling, the county argued that if snowmobiling was curtailed, it would gain "the responsibility of caring for increased use and physical environmental impacts ... from displaced Yellowstone snowmobilers."

These people can't just park the things - they have to ride them somewhere.

Picture a snowmobile traffic jam while you're trying to get to work.

The state seemed to be thinking almost the same thing: "Wyoming suggested ... displacement of snowmobilers from the National Parks to the National Forests creates a significant increase in the management ... responsibilities" for the state.

Apparently Wyoming is incapable of regulating them elsewhere

It's like squeezing a balloon. You can get snowmobilers out of one end, but they'll just blow up somewhere else. Reducing the number of snowmobiles is impossible.

The solution to me is obvious.

First you ban snowmobiles from eastern Wyoming and squeeze them west. Then ban them from the rest of the state, followed by gradual westward bans until the snowmobiles fall into the ocean.

It's simple physics.

Then the litigation can end.

JUST CONCEAL THEM! Snowmobilers, of course, are not the only ones who stand up for their rights through years of litigation.

There are also college students with guns.

Frightening as it may seem, the University of Colorado actually has a student group called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus which has been in litigation with the school since Dec., 2008.

My guess is that most of those would-be gun-toting students have either been graduated or killed in gun battles but their litigation lives on. The Colorado Supreme Court last week issued a ruling in The Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, LLC that sent the case back to a trial court.

According to the ruling, the students claim that all they want to do is be able to keep the guns in their cars while they drive across campus to get to their self-defense class.

Apparently none of these guys thought of concealing their weapons in, say, the glove compartment and driving carefully across campus. Years of litigation made so much more sense.

I'm really hoping there isn't a Students for Unconcealed Carry on Campus.

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