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When will government stop being so intrusive?
First the City of Ypsilanti goes after a storefront church for violating zoning ordinances in their quest to worship closer to establishments that serve liquor. Now it appears Washtenaw County is taking aim at a local slumlord in his quest to dump tens of thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the Huron River.
Local celebrity / businessman David Kircher is accused of endangering water resources for his role in the dumping that occurred last October at his infamous Eastern Highland Apartments. His lawyer, George Ward, believes that his client will beat the rap that could cost his client up to $1M in fines and five years in prison. Kircher’s legal team is likely to use the excuse that hardly any raw sewage ended up in the Huron River because most of it flooded existing apartments, and how can you be guilty of endangering water resources if the sewage in question ended up being stored in many of the unsafe apartments on the premises.
If you recall, the ACLU stepped in on behalf of the True Light Pentecostal Church, claiming that the eviction violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act that former-President Clinton signed into law back in the summer of 2000. The orginal intent of the law was to eliminate any restrictions on the ability of prisoners to worship as they please. The act was passed unanimously in both houses of Congress. There was little opposition, most of which came from officials who feared the act would spur frivolous lawsuits (you don’t say?). It’s unclear how this act protects storefront churches.
My emails to the Mackinac Chapter of the Sierra Club, questioning them whether or not they would come out in support of Mr. Kircher were not answered prior to publication.
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