Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Legislative Oddities Category

The Free the Nipple campaign might've worked in Fort Collins, Colorado, but women's nipples must still be covered in the Live Free or Die state. In a 3-2 vote, the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the convictions of three women arrested for going topless on a Laconia beach, ruling that the indecent exposure ordinance banning baring female breasts was constitutional.

"We have found that the ordinance does not violate the defendants' constitutional rights to equal protection or freedom of speech under the State and Federal Constitutions," the court announced. "As such, it does not unduly restrict the defendants' fundamental rights."

According to the Hawaii state legislature, "the cigarette is considered the deadliest artifact in human history." And legislators have come up with a plan to battle that artifact, effectively phasing out cigarettes on the islands over the next five years.

A new bill introduced last week would raise the cigarette-buying age to 30 next year, raise it again to 40, 50, and 60 in each subsequent year, and then finally make the legal age to purchase cigarettes 100 by 2024. So, will the Aloha State's attempt to save everyone's breath work?

Taxidermy Law: Is It Legal to Stuff Your Pet?

Odds are, when you see a mounted animal, the first thing you think of isn't, "Do you have a permit for that?" But perhaps it should be. Taxidermy requires both a federal and state license, and sometimes even special permits, such as the case with migratory birds. Who knew?! So before you decide to stuff your recently deceased pet so that your toddler child doesn't have an emotional breakdown, think twice and consider these laws.

A new year brings new opportunities. And for Oregon residents, 2019 brings the opportunity to salvage deer, elk, and other animals slaughtered by automobiles, as long as that animal was hit on accident and as long as you intend to eat the meat.

Oh, and you'll need a permit as well.

We're already 18 years into the 21st century, and we're still waiting on our personal jetpacks and flying cars. We don't even have a colony on Mars, and the city that helped put a man on the moon is now telling its residents they can't frequent robot sex brothels.

What a buzzkill.

Last week, the Houston City Council updated its rules on sexually oriented businesses, adding "anthropomorphic devices" to the list of banned "adult arcades," which are prohibited from operating within 1,500 feet of churches, schools, day cares, parks, and residential neighborhoods. The council prohibited customers of sexually oriented businesses from using so-called arcade devices on company premises.

Did We Really Need a Law Against Eating Cats and Dogs?

We all enjoy Republicans and Democrats reaching across the aisle for the common good. But for a law against eating cats and dogs? Is this all we have left to agree on?

After a year in the making, the House has passed a bipartisan bill, originated by Florida Reps. Vern Buchanan, a Republican, and Alcee Hastings, a Democrat. Alas, Florida's congressional leaders have nothing more pressing to resolve. The Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2018, which outlaws the slaughter of cats and dogs for human consumption, which is legal in 44 states. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's prolific. Do we really need this law?

"There is an atrocious story on social media that I intentionally hurt the seagull. It is illegal and immoral to injure a seagull. If I intentionally hurt the seagull in front of hundreds of witnesses, I would perhaps be the dumbest criminal ever."

Nate Rancloes may not be the dumbest criminal ever, but he did violate federal wildlife laws when he accidentally kicked a seagull that had stolen his cheeseburger. And it turns out New Hampshire Fish and Game officials are pretty strict when it comes to enforcing those laws.

Can Cannabis Be a Religious Sacrament? Judge Says No

The First Church of Cannabis in Indiana saw their lawsuit go up in smoke. The church, which claims that their congregation uses marijuana in a sacramental manner to grow closer in love to one another, sought to get a religious exemption to the state's marijuana laws under Indiana's Religious Freedom and Reformation Act (RFRA).

Though officially a recognized church by the state and the IRS, Judge Jude Sheryl Lynch of the Marion County Superior Court ruled that the church could not smoke marijuana as a religious sacrament.

Maybe you're a LARPer or a fan of Renaissance Fairs. Maybe you're an engineering or history student, studying the effectiveness of various siege weapons. Or maybe you've got a neighbor with high walls and a penchant for playing their music too loud.

Either way, if you're looking to launch a projectile a great distance (without the aid of explosives), you might be wondering if you can build your own catapult, trebuchet, or similar siege engine without interference from the fuzz. Here's what you need to know.

A magic tricks (or "illusion" if you prefer) ceases to be magic if the audience knows how it works. And the trick ceases to be valuable to the magician who invented it if other magicians can just steal it.

So what kind of legal protections do magicians have against the exposure or theft of tricks illusions? Not many.