Dynamist Blog


In another test of blog influence, Mickey Kaus picked up the story, mentioned below of the truly insane California bill to regulate development anywhere near, or maybe near, or some miles away from Indian religious sites. From the San Diego Tribune description:

Senate Bill 18 would empower the Native American Heritage Commission to regulate development on any land that includes or is close to an Indian sacred site. This would add a new, lengthy and costly regulatory process onto the already complex California Environmental Quality Act. There's no distance limit between a project and a sacred site, so the Native American Heritage Commission could have power over projects that are quite removed from the sacred site itself.

I saw Mickey and Jonathan Alter of Newsweek on some TV show yesterday, discussing the recall election, and they agreed on one thing: the stupidity of this bill. The question is now whether even the powerful Kausfiles exerts enough influence to stop the madness.

Meanwhile, reader Lawrence Rhodes raises a question better addressed by Eugene Volokh and co-conspirators than me:

How is the Native American Heritage Commission, created by the Sacred Sites bill linked from your Tuesday post 000435, different from Judge Roy Moore wanting the Ten Commandments monument in his court? I would think both are forbidden by the First Amendment, at least in current interpretations. Indeed, I recall a related case in which the National Park Service was prevented from accommodating Native American religious claims by restricting climbing on Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

I have to admit it seems worth it to me to nitpick the not entirely historically irrelevant Ten Commandments if it will protect us against things like the Sacred Sites bill (assuming it does, of course). Now if we could just get environmentalism recognized as the religion it is...

Over to you, Volokh Conspiracy. Or perhaps Professor Reynolds would like to weigh in? Or Professor Hewitt (yes, he does teach law), who knows all about California environmental law?

ArchivedDeep Glamour Blog ›

Blog Feed

Articles Feed