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The Tony Soprano Test

I must say that I find this state Supreme Court decision from Washington State terrifying.  It is interesting that the State of Washington has exactly the same proprietary attitude over the garbage business as does the Mafia in New York:

In a decision released this morning, the Court stated that hauling construction waste is not a private enterprise and “is in the realm belonging to the State and delegated to local governments.” The court found specifically that the provision of waste hauling service is a “government service” and constitutional protections do not apply to government-provided services.

I don't know the Washington State constitution, so it may indeed mention "construction waste hauling" as an enumerated power of the government.  If it does not, and by "constitutional protections do not apply" they mean the US Constitution, then this is a stunning over-reading of said document.  Nowhere, in the US Constitution at least, is there a provision for the government providing services of any kind, much less construction waste hauling. 

Posted on February 21, 2008 at 09:57 PM | Permalink


I'm thinking of sending a five-pound box of candy wrappers and the rest of my office trash can contents to each of the Washington State justices who joined the majority in this case about "government service". They said it's theirs, didn't they?

However, I'm holding back on sending the second set of five-pound boxes until I get clarification if sewage treatment is also a protected "govermnent service."

Posted by: Bill Lever | Feb 21, 2008 11:18:55 PM

Post offices and Post roads are a service.

I just discovered your site, I like it!

Posted by: H Bowman, MD | Feb 27, 2008 5:40:49 AM

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