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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Round One

From the Naples Daily News-

— A federal judge on Friday denied a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union of a Florida law banning state-paid travel by students, professors and researchers to Cuba and four other nations labeled terrorist states by the U.S. government.

In his two-sentence ruling, U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan turned down the ACLU’s effort to stop enforcement of the law. Jordan said a detailed order would follow on Feb. 9.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Florida International University Faculty Senate, which contended the law violates First Amendment rights and impinges on the federal government’s powers to regulate foreign commerce.

Brandon Hensler, a spokesman for the ACLU of Florida, said the organization would have to wait to determine its legal options pending Adalberto’s final order.

“I still think this was regrettable decision by the Legislature to further close off these countries to the free market of ideas,” he said.

The measure, signed into law May 30 by then-Gov. Jeb Bush, prohibits professors, students and researchers from using money administered by a public university or college — federal or state funds and even private foundation grants — to travel to any country listed as a terrorist state by the U.S. State Department. Besides Cuba, the list includes Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.

Private universities in Florida are also prohibited from using state funds for travel to the named countries.

Here is another post of mine on this legislation.

I never thought the ACLU had a case, but when it comes to predicting what the US system will do, anything goes is a general rule of thumb. No one is being prevented from travelling to these countries. It is the use of taxpayer money to finance these trips that was being stopped. I'm totally for that, why should money be funneled to these countries are our enemies of the US? The state legislator who got this legislation passed, plus former Governor Bush, were pandering to the Cuban-American community. The amount of money that will be saved is probably very slight.(I'd love to see an estimate of just how much, but none has ever been reported) The bottom line however is that the law is constitutional.

I'm sure the legal fight over this legislation isn't over yet.

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