Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Arizona Legislature has only been in session for two weeks, and already we are getting the wingnut "crazy base" bills that seek to redefine the meaning of the Constitution according to their alternate reality.
Coming soon to a backyard near you . . . "constitutional" chickens!
No, really. Sen. David Farnsworth (R-Mesa) — Geezus, there's more than one nutty Farnsworth in the lege? — claims that you have a "constitutional right" to fresh chickens and eggs. And "constitutional" chickens trump your neighbor's property rights and any complaints they may have about noise from your chickens, and the odor of chicken poop.
This nutty Farnsworth sounds like the Muppets' Gonzo and his chickens. "Hello ladies!" Lawmaker: Homegrown chicken and eggs are a constitutional right:
The proposal by Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, would declare that the rights of property owners to raise poultry trumps the rights of the folks next door not to have to put up with them. SB 1151 would void any existing city ordinance to the contrary.
The law would apply only to detached single-family homes. Owners of town houses and condos still would have to live chicken-free.
Cities would be able to limit the number of fowl. And roosters could still be forbidden unless they lacked the ability to crow.
But it would allow homeowners to put the pens right up against the property line, a significant change for cities such as Tucson, which permits up to 24 chickens on a residential lot. But the ordinance requires the coop to be at least 50 feet from any dwelling on an adjacent property.
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Farnsworth said Wednesday that’s not the role of cities, calling bans and severe restrictions “kind of ridiculous.”
“The proper role of government according to the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution is to protect the liberty of the people,” he said. “Liberty of the people is being eroded, particularly property rights.”
Farnsworth said the issue of animal ownership is that it’s more than a simple question of preference. He said that, growing up in Mesa, if his family had not had chickens, as well as rabbits and goats, family members might have been short on food at times.
Twenty-one other legislators, out of the 90 at the Capitol, have signed on as co-sponsors.
Farnsworth acknowledged a next-door neighbor might not want a chicken pen right up against the fence. But he said that right to live in a chicken-free zone is limited.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that our own property rights on our property need to be supreme,” Farns-worth said.
Did you catch that? The property rights of chicken owners are unlimited and are superior to the property rights of non-chicken owners whose rights are limited, because Gonzo grew up with chickens and Lord Farnsworth decrees that it is so. "Small government conservative" my ass. What's next? Can people have rabbit hutches? Can they have goats? What about ducks? Geese? Pigeons? Where do you draw the line?
If you want farm livin' Oliver, move out to the countryside.