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06/18/2010

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i can see it now....

just taking a cue from "the wizard of oz", an action under the americans with disabilities act on behalf of the munchkins, an action on behalf of the apple trees along the yellowbrick road for an environmental review of the deforestation and illegal picking of apples, an eminent domain action for removal of dorothy's house from kansas, simply to provide for opening scenes of a fictional story beloved by generations....

i'm gearing up my practice now. the heck with non-fiction litigation.

At prof. Linder's famous trials site, after the witch executions, and subsequent calming of the hysteria; after admissions of fabricated testimony, and public apologies for contributing to the paranoia, there was one individual who had not issued an apology for personal contributions to the public panic and executions.

Here is Linder's perhaps intentionally allegorical dedepiction of the outcome for the unapologetic holdout:

"Stoughton, clearly more to blame than anyone for the tragic episode, refused to apologize or explain himself. He criticized Phips for interfering just when he was about to 'clear the land' of witches. Stoughton became the next governor of Massachusetts."

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SAL_ACCT.HTM

I do believe you have not considered the 2nd amendment implications of a ban on witchcraft. Per Spelljammer, eldridge weapons can be used in self defense, as part of a well regulated militia. So Congress may be limited in it's ability to regulate witchcraft based arms. - see http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/thumb/8/83/AscentionGun_negwt.jpg/250px-AscentionGun_negwt.jpg and http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v151/skrittiblak/Elysium/crystal_gun.jpg

Blackstone's views on witchcraft didn't actually reflect the law in eighteenth century England.

In 1735 the British Parliament enacted “An Act to repeal the Statute made in the First Year of the Reign of King James the First, intituled, An Act against Conjuration, Witchcraft, and dealing with evil and wicked Spirits, except so much thereof as repeals an Act of the Fifth Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, Against Conjurations, Inchantments, and Witchcrafts, and to repeal an Act passed in the Parliament of Scotland in the Ninth Parliament of Queen Mary, intituled, Anentis Witchcrafts, and for punishing such Persons as pretend to exercise or use any kind of Witchcraft, Sorcery, Inchantment, or Conjuration”. The 1735 Act was premised on Enlightenment beliefs in the non-existence of witchcraft. It provided that, from its coming into force, “no Prosecution, Suit, or Proceeding, shall be commenced or carried on against any Person or Persons for Witchcraft, Sorcery, Inchantment, or Conjuration, or for charging another with any such Offence, in any Court whatsoever in Great Britain.” Instead, “for the more effectual preventing and punishing of any Pretences to such Arts or Powers …, whereby ignorant Persons are frequently deluded and defrauded … any Person [who] shall … pretend to exercise or use any kind of Witchcraft, Sorcery, Inchantment, or Conjuration, or undertake to tell Fortunes, or pretend, from his or her Skill or Knowledge in any occult or crafty Science, to discover where or in what manner any Goods or Chattels, supposed to have been stolen or lost” could be subject to criminal sanction. Possible penalties were imprisonment for up to a year, exposure in the pillory and being required to find sureties for good behaviour, but not (as previously) death. Essentially, persons claiming to have magical powers were to be treated as fraudsters.

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Maxwell L. Stearns discusses his book Public Choice Concepts and Applications in Law

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