Yesterday Hot Air posted an article on its website called, “A Fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam.” The article deals with a lawsuit that has been making its way through the legal system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year.
The article reports:
It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details.
Meet New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel. The federal government is destroying Mr. Goethel’s industry through overregulation and forcing ground-fishermen like himself to pay $700 per day to have authorities monitor them on their boats. Even the government estimates these additional costs would put 60% of the industry out of business. CoAI is helping Mr. Goethel fight back through the courts to save his livelihood.
This is a story that is being told by commercial fisherman with family businesses who are under attack by federal and state regulators making legal changes that favor either sports fishermen or large commercial fishing enterprises. This over-regulation needs to stop. The state and federal government is attacking the family fisherman while at the same time over-fishing by foreign fleets continues off of our coasts. What is the government trying to accomplish?
The video below provides the background to the story:
The article concludes:
Besides the gross unfairness of the situation, I’m left wondering how this was the only solution the government could come up with. This is 2017, not 1817. Even if you feel you need to peer over the shoulders of these fisherman every time they leave port, do we really have to station a human being on every boat? Couldn’t there be a camera hooked up via satellite using Skype or something so a single person back on shore could monitor multiple boats?
Goethael has already been through two rounds of court action protesting this crippling regulatory burden but has been rejected in the lower level courts. Thus far they haven’t even been ruling on the merits of the case, but rather on a technicality, claiming that the plaintiff didn’t file soon enough after the regulation went into effect. (This ignores the fact that the government didn’t transfer the cost of these monitors to the fishermen until much later.) CoAI has filed a petition for writ of certiorari urging the Supreme Court to take up the case and rule on the merits and consider the damage that this regulatory albatross is doing to an industry as old as the nation itself.
If we have reached the point where we have surrendered so much of our freedom that the state or federal government can put small businessmen out of business, it is time to take a second look at our government. Is our government operating under the principles our Founding Fathers set forth? I think not.