Talk:Lacey Act of 1900
|WikiProject Law||(Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)|
|WikiProject United States||(Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)|
new content on John F. Lacey
I merged some new content into the article on Lacey himself. The info on the act should probably be merged here, but it seems to contradict the content of this article. Could someone more knowledgable on the issue take a look? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 23:37, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
Does the "Rough Justice" CIte Properly Support the Idea of Criticism of the Lacey Act?
The article now states, "there is criticism that the Lacey Act is sometimes used to prosecute importers which violate foreign laws which are not actually enforced in the respective countries." That sentence is followed by two paragraphs discussing, but not naming, the case U.S. v. McNabb, which involved the illegal importation of lobster tails from Hondoras. The paragraph ends with a cite to an Economist article, "Rough Justice."
The Economist article addresses the trend in the United States of putting people in prison for more time, for more crimes than the rest of the world. The McNabb case is mentioned, but not named, as a lead-off example of how the citizens of the United States are too willing to lock up their fellows. The rest of the piece does not discuss McNabb at all. As a result, I do not think the cite supports the idea that there has been criticism of the Lacey Act, in particular, for punishing insubstantial crimes. The criticism is much more general and addresses the full spectrum of crime.
Moreover, the 11th Circuit addressed the McNabb case on appeal in a published opnion at 331 F.3d 1228. The facts as related in that opinion contradict the Rough Justice commentary. Rough Justice states that the reason for the prosecution was that the defendants had "import[ed] lobster tails in plastic bags rather than cardboard boxes, in violation of a Honduran regulation that Honduras no longer enforces." In constrast, the Court of Appeals decision states
- the lobsters had been exported illegally without first being inspected and processed. Furthermore, the Honduran officials confirmed that there was a 5.5-inch size limit for lobster tails and that all catches had to be reported to Honduran authorities. The Honduran officials provided certified copies of the laws in question. In September of 1999 NMFS agents inspected the lobster shipment that had been seized earlier in the year. The inspection confirmed that the seized lobsters were packed in bulk plastic bags without being processed and revealed that a significant number had a tail length that was less than the 5.5 inches required by the Honduran size limit restriction. In addition, many of the lobsters were egg-bearing or had their eggs removed.
It goes on to explain that the Honduran laws regarding the lobsters were in place and in force when the illegal imports occurred.
As it stands, this article suggests that the Lacey Act was used to send people to jail for using the wrong kind of container. I think the Rough Justice commentary got that very wrong. The U.S. Court of Appeals decision makes it clear that the violations of Honduran law went beyond the container and addressed size limits and the taking of gravid lobsters, which would necessarily have much more serious ecological consequences. As such, I think the criticism sentence should either be cut or edited to address what appears to have actually happened in the case.
Use of scare-quotes on "illegal" by APHIS
The US http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/lacey_act/index.shtml page oddly enough seems to use scare-quotes for the word illegal vis-a-vis, "The Lacey Act combats trafficking in “illegal” wildlife, fish, and plants.". That seems odd use. They do say that "The Lacey Act now, among other things, makes it unlawful, beginning December 15, 2008, to import certain plants and plant products without an import declaration.". Will be interesting to see if the cases WRT Gibson Guitar factory  will explain these scare-quotes are due to mistakes or lack of paperwork as well as actual illegal trading. Fromthehill (talk) 18:55, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
2008-2012 Opposition, Gibson Guitar Controversy
I associated the Lacey Act with banning the importation of mongooses among other things but this article makes it seem like it's legislation primarily involving Gibson Guitars. More specifically, roughly half of the introduction is devoted to the Gibson case and their imported hardwood violations. There isn't even mention in the intro that the Act was amended in 2008 to include protection for some plants. Wikipedia policy is for the intro to summarize the article and here, it's used to tell much of the Gibson story which is discussed again in the article's main body. Also, use of the terms "right-wing politicians" and "members of the Tea Party movement" seems POV. Despite such political terms, the only politician I saw actually named in the sourced articles is Representative Marsha Blackburn whose district covers the Gibson plants. She certainly is conservative but her election to the House predates the "Tea Party movement." No doubt, Bill O'Reilly and others were highly critical of the raids but so were a lot of musicians. Some Greenpeace members are quoted in the articles on the Gibson case but would it be encyclopedic to describe them with terms like "left-winged?" I don't mean for that to be a rhetorical question and would like to hear from others about this. I definitely think the Gibson case needs to be shortened to one sentence in the intro.TL36 (talk) 04:25, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
- This article needs a rewrite both for logical order, clarity, balancing, NPOV, chronological order etc.
- The issue between 2008-2012 was opposition to the new 2008 anti-illegal-logging provisions (RELIEF Act (2011 H.R. 3210)) - not the "2011 Gibson Guitar controversy" which was just the media poster-child used for several years of lobbying on that issue - but that lobbying was from builders, furniture-makers etc., not just musical instrument makers.
- TL36: The 2008 amendments expanded scope of the original Lacey Act from wildlife to plants. Yes, it needs a summary of the original act. The 2008-2012 opposition was by conservatives: the articles I cited quote John Boehner, Rand Paul, John Fleming, Jim Cooper etc. Again, why not add citations to document who lobbied.
- John Boehner and Rand Paul did take a high-media-profile stance on this issue: Guitar Antihero 1: How Gibson Guitars made illegal logging a conservative cause célèbre
- "...newly minted Tea Party hero, Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. He was sitting in House Speaker John Boehner’s box during President Obama’s jobs speech. Boehner cited him in his own jobs speech a few days later. According to a count by the nonprofit Media Matters, Fox News has featured his company 24 times in the last couple of weeks [28 Sep 2011]."
- see also Testimony of Sen Rand Paul on the Freedom from Over-Criminalization and Unjust Seizures Act of 2012 (FOCUS Act)
- This lobbying did not result in the legislation passing in 2012, but it's still noteworthy, but also all of this needs balancing in the full context of the Lacey Act. There were other amendments from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 which went without controversy.