July 08, 2007
Dear God, Please Let This Man Win...

A local man is suing the state over its ridiculous ban on online gambling. Danny Westneat wrote about the law shortly after its passage and more recently as well. If the lawsuit succeeds it would be a welcome victory against the nanny-state.

Posted by Eric Earling at July 08, 2007 12:59 PM | Email This
1. If this Nanny state is so against online gambling, then shut down all of their pull tabs, casinos, and scratch games.

Hee Hee today I saw a dog in a man's lap hanging his head out the drivers window. That's OK, but talking on your cell phone is distracting...

I see....Lord save us from these legislaters in this state, for they know not how funny they look.

Posted by: GS on July 8, 2007 01:12 PM
2. Do you want him to win because you think he's got a good legal case, or because you don't like the policy set by the legislature?

Your post certainly makes it sound like the latter. "Victories against the nanny state" are political victories, which should be won in the policy-making branches, not the courts.

Posted by: ScottM on July 8, 2007 02:10 PM
3. Do you want him to win because you think he's got a good legal case, or because you don't like the policy set by the legislature?


The two options you present are not mutually exclusive. You certainly can have bad policy that doesn't meet federal legal standards. That's what courts are there to decide.

This is more about state Democrats who are bought and paid for by the tribes. That is what the ban is about. The nanny-state aspect of it is secondary IMO.

Posted by: Palouse on July 8, 2007 03:03 PM
4. It's ironic that Eric -- having praised churches and summer camps that teach the Bible is the unerring word of God -- is now praying to God for a court to overturn the democratically-expressed will of the people, and to allow an unbiblical activity like gambling. WWJD?

Posted by: Bruce on July 8, 2007 03:04 PM
5. Bruce

I wasn't my "will" of the people. I don't believe anyone really ever asked me.

If they are going to prohibit it online, then take out the gambling in person also.

Posted by: Chris on July 8, 2007 03:12 PM
6. Chris@6, our country is what's called a representative democracy; we don't ask you about everything. See Constitution.

Posted by: Bruce on July 8, 2007 03:43 PM
7. Bruce, 'The will' of the people, democratically expressed, must past constitutional muster. It was that first democratic decision of our country, to establish the constitution that must be followed first. It seems too often that congress, the legislature, governors, even school boards, think it's their democratically given power to make laws and regulations that go against our constitution.

Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist knew that - harken back to when those three supported those who used medical marijuana in that court case, while the liberal judges opposed it. It doesn't matter how conservative, religious or not, you are, when the constitution is being violated you should be on the side of the constitution.

BTW, WWJD? Jesus would not enter into the politcal realm, his kingdom is separate. My guess is that he would not take part in the gambling but would not purpose to make it illegal to do so by flesh standards (or rather in the government form) but would only care if it were legal in the spiritual sense.

Posted by: Doug on July 8, 2007 03:53 PM
8. Bruce

You got a turd in your pocket?

Posted by: Chris on July 8, 2007 03:55 PM
9. Palouse: Whether the policy is good or bad is absolutely irrelevant to whether he should win in court.

If you believe in the rule of law and republican government, you shouldn't want him to win for both reasons, but only because you believe the law is on his side. And if it is, then you should want him to win even if he were seeking to strike down a policy you like.

In fact, he may well be right on the legal point; the Constitution certainly delegates interstate commerce authority to Congress rather than the states, and I haven't read the Interstate Wire Act, so I don't know if it authorizes states to ban online gambling.

Have you read it? And if you haven't, then how can you express an opinion on whether he should win? I note that no one on this thread has made anything like a legal argument in his favor.

Posted by: ScottM on July 8, 2007 04:02 PM
10. Doug,
Scalia was actually in the majority on that one against medical marijuana. http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/06/scotus.medical.marijuana/
His federalism has generally been second to his main ideology.

After stupid gambling rules can we get rid of the restrictions on alcohol. I want to buy liquor on Sundays, at the grocery store, and I want to be able to order a bottle of wine when I get take out. There is nothing more annoying then wanting to have bloody marys or something else to make a boring Sunday more entertaining and having to hunt a round for a local liquor store.

Posted by: Giffy on July 8, 2007 04:28 PM
11. ScottM, I only know of his legal arguments what I read in the article, but on the face, they sound reasonable. If that's not good enough for you, oh well. Consult a legal professional for more in depth analysis, but to this non-lawyer it sounds like he has a good case. If the legal argument was not reasonable to me, I would say so, even if I didn't agree with the underlying legislation.

That said, I think the underlying legislation is garbage. It's a political giveaway to a reliable Democratic donor.

Posted by: Palouse on July 8, 2007 04:55 PM
12. Giffy: And have you writen to your legislators about your proposed changes in the alcohol laws? Have you tried to get an initiative on the ballot? Have you done anything to try to change these laws through the processes of republican government?

Posted by: ScottM on July 8, 2007 05:02 PM
13. Bruce:

So I guess you're on board with anything that the Bush administration or the Supreme Court does. Bush was democratically elected. See Constitution.

Posted by: eric on July 8, 2007 05:04 PM
14. ScottM,

Actually yah. I never said it should be done through the courts. I think they are an overused resource in our country. I think the State has every right to regulate alcohol and in fact should. I just think they should do so differently. I would say the same thing regarding gabling.

I would also probably not really favor an initiative(on both fronts). I am not a fan of making complex nuanced policy through the hammer of an initiative.

Posted by: Giffy on July 8, 2007 05:31 PM
15. ScottM said :"Victories against the nanny state" are political victories, which should be won in the policy-making branches, not the courts.

If a law is unconstitutional it should be overturned in court. This particular law if it is not unconstitutional, damn well should be. What is upsetting is that not one state senator voted against it in either party.

Posted by: Travis Pahl on July 8, 2007 06:35 PM
16. Bruce,
Jesus would not ban people from doing things that harm no one else. He might try to convince them not to do something but he never once used coercion in all the written testimony we have.

Oh and I hardly think this was very democratic. It was voted on by our representatives not the people but all of them voted in favor of the bill whereas I hardly think even 50% of the people are in favor of it. Obviously the connection between the people and our representatives is broken.

Posted by: Travis Pahl on July 8, 2007 06:37 PM
17. Palouse:

You suggest that the legislation was passed as a giveaway to a reliable democrat donor. Did this donor donate to all the republican senators too? They all voted for this ban just like the democrats.

Posted by: Travis Pahl on July 8, 2007 06:39 PM
18. Bruce @ 4 -

Does the phrase "tongue in cheek" mean anything to you? No, public policy is not a part of my prayer life...I'm just trying to have a little fun with the title of the post. You also seem quick to assume that I ascribe to every theological point espoused by the church I attend and the summer camp my son likes to go to. I wouldn't advise that. Most people of faith don't fit 100% with the religious institutions with which they choose to associate.

Scott M @ 2 (and Bruce) -

Part of the reason I did the post was that from the article it seemed this person has a good case, both in statute and on Constitutional grounds. If it succeeds on legal merits for just cause I would be more than pleased. But I wouldn't want the ruling to be in favor of my policy position if it wasn't sound in a legal sense. If the Legislature wanted to change policy I wouldn't be upset either, but it seems this legal action has more chance of success in this case.

Posted by: Eric Earling on July 8, 2007 07:07 PM
19. Giffy: Fair enough. I actually agree with you about the initiative, but it is the law, so I can't realy blame people who use the initiative to try to enact their favored policies.

Posted by: ScottM on July 8, 2007 07:21 PM
20. I haven't been around for a couple of days, let's see what can be stirred up.

1. In my opinion, God has better things to do.

2. This site trumpets the concept that the
nanny state should be diminished. What
exactly is the nanny state?

3. Back to free will, yes humans have it and
they do some destructive things. Is there
a place for certain constraints on free will
because some people are frankly so stupid
they can't make good choices? If their poor
choices affected only them, that would be
fine, they probably would kill themselves
and that is one less idiot to deal with.
Problem is that many of those making poor
choices have others dependent upon them.
Meth, is one example of a poor choice that
destroys the lives of numerous kids. Gambling
can suck resources from individuals and

4. The problem is that government has made
too many poor choices and is addicted to
easy revenue. So, candidates and the
institution of government make choices on
what to regulate based on revenue needs.
Canpaigns are so darned expensive candidates
pig out at whatever trough they can. Hillary
took $800,000 from hip hop thug Timbaline and
his assorted thug cronies.

I suppose the argument is that vices cannot be totally regulated and that there will always be those that cheat and attempt to evade the regulation. That is true, but the concept of the public good is that rules are aimed at the greatest good for the greatest number. For every winner on the World Poker Tour are probably a 1000 chumps whose kids are going hungry.

Posted by: WVH on July 8, 2007 07:43 PM
21. to allow an unbiblical activity like gambling.

Please cite which part of the Bible tells us that gambling is, in and of it's self, a sin.

Posted by: Cliff on July 8, 2007 09:54 PM
22. Cliff,

I am not a theologian and I don't remember reading about gambling prohitbition in the Bible. Every Christian denomination is different, but the following from the Church of Christ is an excellent explanation from the general Christian perspective of why gambling might or could be wrong:

PDF] Are you Gambling with your Soul?File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
The Bible makes it amply clear. that Christians must have control of. themselves (Gal. 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6). Gambling is a sin because it causes ...

My issues are the welfare of children and building stronger families. It is interesting that many lottery outlets also have info about Gamblers Anonymous and other resources. For me, the question is not so much a question of religion as it is a question of protecting society's weakest links and the responsibiities that many of them have, children.

Posted by: WVH on July 8, 2007 10:30 PM
23. If the court want to ban something for the good of people,then it have to ban that particular thing in every possible ways.Its no use banning online gambling,when casinos and scratch games are still exists...
Low Cost Roadside assistance

Posted by: sakthi on July 9, 2007 04:57 AM
24. I agree with Palouse that this whole legislation was the Democrat Party doing the bidding of the Tribes. I personaly enjoyed on-line poker, and considered it nobodys business but my own, but Queen Christine and Co. weren't getting their "rake." I've never set foot in a Tribal Casino and never will.

Posted by: John S on July 9, 2007 06:49 AM
25. Travis, perhaps you missed this in the Wesneat article:

Chris Strow, a Republican state legislator from Whidbey Island, said the criminalization of people who are joining a game from their homes is an "amazing intrusion on personal liberty."

Strow introduced a bill this year to roll back the criminal penalties, but the state Gambling Commission opposed it and it went nowhere.

I haven't reviewed every Republican in the state legistlature to see if they've received tribe money, but I posit that a majority of Republicans would agree with Mr. Strow. Since the Democrats control the debate and the legislation in both houses, this was their giveaway.

Posted by: Palouse on July 9, 2007 07:35 AM
26. Gee, you don't see just the tiniest bit of tribal influence here? Who introduced this bill? Who shills for tribes like they're paying her? Who rails against gambling expansion with all of its bad effects, unless, of course, it's a tribe doing the expanding?

Who bought Chrissie's recount? Who's going to fund her re-election?

The fact is that tribes cannot stand ANY kind of competition. Using their bought politicians and their vast wealth to oppose any efforts to end their monopolies on gambling in this state, the tribes are, ultimately, behind all of this... and the reason the votes were near unanimous was fear of those same tribes.

Posted by: Hinton on July 9, 2007 08:16 AM
27. WVH, Gambling in EXCESS is a sin just as playing too many video games in excess, drinking beer in excess, even blogging in excess. But saying the action of gambling is a sin isn't so much Christian as it is Islam. Of course Jesus never forbade it, but Muhammed did.

Posted by: Doug on July 9, 2007 08:16 AM
28. This is for Bruce and other left wing wackos. We live in a Representative Republic......read the US Constitution......the word "democracy" is no where to be found. Neither is socialism......Even the Greek city states thought that democracy was the worst form of government ie mob rule.....not reasoned and thoughtful governance. Todays democrat party has more in common with the communist manifesto than with the US Constitution. We real Americans must take back our Republic, one way or another or we will cease to exist as a nation.

Posted by: Allan Rothlisberg on July 9, 2007 08:28 AM
29. Allan, which party is it that has been constantly trying to undue the work of our elected reps through ballot measures. One guess, I know you know this one..

Posted by: Giffy on July 9, 2007 09:08 AM
30. Let me guess, Giffy, that would be the same party that stands up for Democracy by actually using the Presidential Primary voting results? It's pretty clear, the Democrats don't trust the voters, they want to run the state through backroom dealings with their biggest supporters, they want to nominate a presidential candidate in smoke-filled rooms filled with Union reps and lawyers, whereas the Republicans are fine with asking the population to vote on initiatives, presidential candidates, what have you.

Posted by: Doug on July 9, 2007 09:41 AM
31. which party is it that has been constantly trying to undue the work of our elected reps through ballot measures.

Surely the 60% of the vote that some ballot measures get isn't all from one party, so there are alot of people on both sides of the aisle that vote for them. You can't really say it's only one party putting them out either. There was the initiative to raise teacher pay, the Hanford cleanup initiative, and the renewable (wind) energy initiaitve, all of which passed. Those are just some of the ones that made the ballot. I bet there were alot more from the left that failed to make the ballot.

Posted by: Palouse on July 9, 2007 12:41 PM
32. Giffy: If I'm not mistaken, didn't the current gov gain office by judicial fiat?......the huge number of provisional ballots (50K) run thru before being validated, large numbers of dead, criminals, people voting more than once, ad nausium. Obviously the will of the voters were not taken into consideration. The democrat party in WA is one of the most sleaziest and corrupt in this nations history. Its on par with Chicago, Frisco, NYC, etc. The fine people of WA need to throw off the yoke of socialism and the corruption that goes with it in order to find and enjoy true freedom.

Posted by: Allan Rothlisberg on July 9, 2007 01:02 PM
33. Doug,

This is what I said:
"I don't remember reading about gambling prohitbition in the Bible. Every Christian denomination is different, but the following from the Church of Christ is an excellent explanation from the general Christian perspective of why gambling might or could be wrong"

The Church of Christ discussion is excellent because it makes the point. However, for many Christian denomiations, there is no prohibition agaist gambling. Some churches will sponsor bingo or casino nights as fundraisers.

Anyhow, my issue is not religious, it is that gambling creates a host of issues which could deprive children and sink some families. Gambling can become an addiction for some. For some, that might be a sin.

Posted by: WVH on July 9, 2007 01:54 PM
34. Westneat's main point about this law was not gambling per se, but a freedom of speech issue. The law prompted a publisher of gambling magazines to cancel all subscriptions to WA, for fear of prosecution.
This was another in a long line of slaps at the First Amendment by Dems (e.g the fairness doctrine, campaign finance, Clinton's effort to quash 'The Path to 9/11' etc.)
This betrays that much Dem yowling about civil liberties during the Bush era was just partisan opportunism. By the same token, much R yowling about civil liberties during the Clinton era was similarly disingenuous.

Posted by: Russell Garrard on July 9, 2007 04:28 PM
35. Pallouse:

I did not read that but I did look at the senate bills roll call and not ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN senator voted against the bill. So if they agree with Chris Strow now, it is a bit too late. It would have been nice if they had applied their critical thinking a couple years ago.

Posted by: Travis on July 9, 2007 06:11 PM
36. You are correct, Travis, that 44 of the 49 senators voted Yes on SB 6613 last year (see the roll call here; two senators were absent, and three were excused). However, the vote in the House was not unanimous. The vote was 93-5; the five House members voting No were Chandler, Dunn, Holmquist, Morris, and Nixon (see the roll call here).

Posted by: Toby Nixon on July 9, 2007 10:19 PM
37. Here's the plan...If DSHS is ignoring some terrible situations going on in your neighborhood, call up the gov and tell her there's online gambling going on in said house.
She'll send the jackbooted thugs there in no time.

Posted by: PC on July 9, 2007 10:59 PM
38. It would have been nice if they had applied their critical thinking a couple years ago.

I agree, but it wouldn't have made a bit of difference with the Democrat supermajority and the governor supporting it.

Posted by: Palouse on July 10, 2007 07:40 AM
39. I wonder how much the tribes paid for this legislation.

Posted by: G Jiggy on July 10, 2007 09:24 AM
40. The only one more foolish than a gambler is an internet gambler.

Posted by: Seabecker on July 10, 2007 09:32 PM
41. Gambling does not "cause" any ills. This is a fallacy.

There is no prohibition in the Bible, implied or otherwise, against gambling. There is a prohibition against abusing gambling, just as abusing drink.

What most people who attack gambling, like Seabecker above, don't understand is that playing poker is not significantly different from playing the stock market, except that it is LESS of a risk: if you know what you are doing, and you're good, given enough capital you WILL come out ahead in the end.

Poker is much more about skill than it is luck, which is why I win 6-man tournaments far more than 1/6th of the time. Probably about 35%, and I finish second about 35% (which is more than good enough to have positive winnings). That isn't "gambling."

I don't think there's a legal case here, though, at all. I think it's a bad law, but one that the government has the legal right to make.

Posted by: pudge on July 11, 2007 12:48 PM
42. Oh also, when I saw this story's title, I thought it might be a plea for Edwards to win the Democratic nomination ...

Posted by: pudge on July 11, 2007 12:52 PM
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