©2012 Mike Church
A few months back I threw out the idea that this fuddy duddy little document here, the U.S. Constitution, gave the State Courts near exclusive power over any cases concerning foreign countries and a state. I was told that the Constitution didn’t matter because the Editors of the Times Picayune and some publicly funded marine biologists had oil scarred dolphins and turtles to care for. Well the same dolphin wrap newspaper reports the joyous news today1 that the United States Senate is one step closer to BP funded dolphin care but there are still those nagging little details of the 20% split, the Senate Bosses will keep for making the deal.
Why should Louisianans affected by the BP spill get anything less than 100% of what they’re due? Ask the same question of Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida citizens and the most likely answer is “that’s the feds jurisdiction”, clearly, most folks have no idea how this whole federal system is supposed to work, here’s a little refresher course.
In the convention that produced the first Louisiana Constitution of 18122, our WhoDat Founders defined the Gulf Coast boundary “…thence bounded by the said Gulf to the place of beginning, including all Islands within three leagues of the coast.” If you haven’t been keeping up with Jules Verne’s math lately, 3 leagues is about 10.5 miles. This would mean that BP would be liable to LOUISIANA for any damages to property, life or enjoyment thereof from the coast to 10 miles out to sea. Keep that in mind next time the Coast Guard tells our governor he cannot act to save coastline by placing temporary jetties 2 miles offshore.
The bottom line is Louisiana should be prosecuting BP in our courts, where powerful Senators and “federal” bureaucracies wielding unconstitutional powers cannot protect them from dolphins that need a bath and WhoDats who need a check.