The ACLU is watching a small town in western Pennsylvania because of its curfew law. Each night at 9:45 pm the Trafford fire station blows its alert sirens to alert teens and other children that the curfew is fast approaching. All persons under the age of 18 are to be home by 10:00 pm according to local law. But with the ACLU looking over their shoulder, the town has been reluctant to enforce their law.
This stems from one child. Again it is the needs of the one trumping the needs of the many. Mr. Spock wouldn't agree with this total lack of logic but that is the principle that the ACLU operates under.
Under threat of lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, it appears the borough has backed off its curfew ordinance. Neither Mayor Kevin Karazsia nor solicitor Bill Ferraro would confirm or deny if the long-time curfew ordinance is being enforced — but this much is certain: In December, the ACLU contacted Ferraro after the Toocheck family complained to the organization. Attorney David Millstein, a volunteer at the ACLU who handled the case, said as far as he knows the ordinance is not being enforced. If he learns otherwise, he said, the ACLU will sue. Craig Toocheck contacted the organization after one of his sons was cited a second time under the Trafford curfew ordinance. The first incident occurred last summer when the boy, then 15, walked to the 7-11 without his parents' permission around midnight. Craig Toocheck was asleep in bed when a police officer brought his son to the door. Surprised that his son had gone in search of a Slurpee without informing him, Toocheck agreed to pay the $73 fine and grounded his son — an active Boy Scout who posted a 4.11 grade point average on his last Penn-Trafford report card — for two weeks. The second incident occurred last August when the boy was watching a pre-season Steelers game at a friend's house. At half-time — and with his parents permission — he left to walk home. The time was 10 minutes after curfew. Craig Toocheck said his son was a half block from his home on Edgewood Avenue when he was picked up by police. A week later, a fine for $98 was in the Toocheck mailbox. Millstein called the fine and the curfew ridiculous. “The whole thing was unconstitutional,” he said. “There's no question about it.” The curfew violates one of the rights in the First Amendment — the freedom of assembly, Millstein said. “To impose a curfew on a person just because they're a juvenile... It's just not constitutional.” Toocheck said the curfew also violates the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and 14th Amendments — which protect against deprivation of liberty without due process of law and includes the right to travel. SOURCE
Ok, let me get this straight, the ACLU is claiming that a reasonable curfew of 10:00 pm for what we can all agree are minor children violates the 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th Amendments? How absurd. Next you will be telling me that a 9 year old has the right to buy a semi-automatic handgun provided they are willing to wait the required waiting period. I won't hold my breath on that one but it falls in line with the same logic.
Here are the facts folks:
Children under the age of 18 are just that - CHILDREN. And are subject to the regulations that the home and society puts on them.
Persons under the age of 18 (CHILDREN) cannot legally marry without consent.
Children cannot own guns, securities, land, vote, and are not subject to taxation all because of their age.
At which point do we throw caution to the wind and teach youngsters the meaning of law and order? If children are subjected to the same freedoms that adults enjoy, then why is it that no one is standing in line to represent children who are forced to live under their parents' regulations as false imprisonment? After all, a responsible parent would restrict where and when a child can travel outside of the home, right?
If you leave children alone for any amount of time, their inner demons will get the better of them and trouble usually follows. As someone who lives with 2 teenage boys I can tell you, that if left to their devices there would be holes in the walls, broken fixtures, parties 24/7 where all kinds of unspeakable activities would be occuring, and that is just the tip of the iceburg. Teenage children often times need to be restricted more than younger children.
The ACLU will stop at nothing to remove all barriers to free will in order to create chaos. Once that is achieved they will swoop in utilizing their dupes in black vestments to create laws restricting all liberties to restore order and a Communist state will be born.
The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few or the one. In this case the needs of Trafford to be safe and secure in their community without an unchecked unregulated youth population roaming the streets causing trouble at all times of the night out weight any presumption that a minor child has to Constitutional rights to travel. And if I remember right, there is no such right in the 4th, 5th, 9th, or 14th Amendments.
The ACLU needs to allow local governments decide what is best for the citizens of their locality. The beautiful thing about a representative democracy, if you don't like the decisions being made on your behalf, you can vote the decision maker out of office. Hence the terms government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
FROM LEAV: The major problem here is the adults permitting their kids to flaunt the law. His kid may not be a problem, but what of all the bad kids, whose parents don't care what they're doing? The law was enacted for a reason. If he doesn't like the curfew, change the politicians who enacted it, or petition the current officials with a better idea, maybe a volunteer neighborhood watch. Not likely. This guy wouldn't even get up at halftime to drive his kid home after curfew! He'd rather call the damn ACLU!
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