On Tuesday, the Lafayette City Council will decide whether to partner with an organization known for its mission to erode property rights. Here’s the deal that the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is offering – CELDF will represent the city for free if the city implements a ban on oil and gas development and adopts CELDF’s “Climate Bill of Rights.”
Now, the fine print. The catch is that technically CELDF has never won a case that allows such climate bills of rights to remain. That’s just one reason a town in Ohio turned down the offer after the town passed a CELDF-inspired ordinance and was sued. The other reasons? CELDF attorneys were not permitted to practice in Ohio and they didn’t have malpractice insurance.
Those are important details, and the judiciary is taking note. Two months ago, a federal judge sanctioned Linzey and his team of ragtag legal misfits $52,000 for their “continued pursuit of frivolous claims and defenses.” The judge also sent Linzey to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board for ‘possible further punishment.”
After reading about CELDF’s leader Thomas Linzey, maybe the goal isn’t changing the law, but sparking a rebellion. Here’s how he shrugs off the fact that his group hasn’t won a single meaningful case, according to Reuters:
“If enough of these cases get in front of a judge, there is a chance we could start to have an impact within the judiciary. And if a town goes bankrupt trying to defend one of our ordinances, well, perhaps that’s exactly what is needed to trigger a national movement.”
And what is this national movement he hopes to ignite? He allegedly wants to change the U.S. Constitution to get rid of property rights and corporate rights and transfer those rights to ecosystems. Right. According to someone who heard him speak, it’s all good because we don’t own any of the property in question because we stole it from American Indians. Yeah, we’ll probably have to agree to disagree on this one.
The people of Lafayette first should be up in arms that their city council is considering partnering with an organization that couldn’t care less about bankrupting their city. Perhaps more disturbing are Linzey’s attempts to erode property rights. It’s an abstract topic, but we’re pretty sure homeowners in Lafayette believe they own their property.