The Brasstown possum’s landed back in court.
Up in the mountains, in Brasstown, there’s a gentleman who celebrates each New Year’s Eve by putting a possum in a box, suspending the box from the top of a general store, then, as the clock ticks down to midnight, dropping the possum to the town square just like the Yankees drop a crystal ball from atop a skyscraper above Times Square.
Only using a live possum instead of a crystal ball landed him in hot water with PETA which sued, saying he was abusing the poor nocturnally shy critter, which led to the politicians getting into the act (against the possum).
State Legislators passed a law saying the Wildlife Commission, no matter how unkind PETA felt it was, could grant the fellow a license for his ‘possum drop’ so last New Year’s Eve Brasstown celebrated again but PETA caught ’em in a mistake: The fellow put the possum in the wrong box or, at least, in a different box from the box his state license required.
This time PETA sued the Wildlife Commission for dereliction of duty and the whole thing landed back in court only, this time, with the Attorney General battling PETA.
And that’s when things took a bizarre turn.
The Attorney General asked the judge to dismiss PETA’s lawsuit as foolishness but the judge said no.
Then PETA asked the judge to make a ‘Declaratory Judgment’ in the possum’s favor – but the judge said no a second time.
So now there’s going to be a full-blown trial over not the possum or the possum drop but the box the possum was dropped in – with taxpayers footing the bill for the Attorney General’s lawyers.
All in all it’s a pretty good example of the old-fashioned out of favor idea we’re all better off when the government does less not more – if the state legislature hadn’t gotten into the business of licensing ‘possum drops’ then PETA and the fellow from Brasstown could be battling it out to their hearts’ content while the rest of us peacefully watch the ball fall in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.