Legal Grounds - The FindLaw Legal News with an Attitude Blog

July 2016 Archives

Some TV shows will bill episodes as pulled straight from the headlines. But one Kentucky man reversed that popular trope when he tried to haul over 10,000 bottles and cans through three states just to get the recycling deposit. Eagle-eyed Seinfeld fans might remember that little gambit -- Kramer and Newman tried the same scam in the show's seventh season.

And if those guys can't pull it off, what hope do the rest of us have?

Yes you can. If you're flying down a Barcelona street and manage not to get caught in the act, apparently. One disabled daredevil tested the limits of traffic enforcement in the Catalonia capital recently and got away scot-free, so far.

So is this brave soul a commute revolutionary or a cautionary tale? Let's take a look.

We are a nation of laws, and even in tough times we consider our commitment to the rule of law to define us. Even if someone is saying something we don't like, we respect their First Amendment right to say it. Even if we think someone is guilty, they are still entitled to Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure and Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial. This commitment may be why it's fun to imagine a world where we don't follow the law for a little while.

If you haven't seen the movies by now, you've probably seen a preview or three, or heard "The Purge" was coming to your town for real. The basic premise of the film (and its two sequels) is that, for 12 straight hours per year, all crime is legal and all emergency services will be unavailable. Billed as a civic tradition in the movie's timeline, it has the effect of reducing crime and unemployment. Beyond the wistful, "wouldn't it be fun to run around and do whatever you want for a day" fantasy, could suspending all laws temporarily even be legal?