The Corner

On the ‘Right to Drink Milk’ Case

It is, of course, completely absurd (I just spared you an “udder-ly”) that the Wisconsin government is cracking down on the sale of “raw milk.” But the argument that the law somehow goes beyond the power of a state government is daffy. The judge was right to deny the motion for summary judgment: There is no “fundamental right” to drink your own cow’s milk.

As the judge explained in a clarification of his ruling, the plaintiffs’ argument boiled down to pointing at a bunch of other “rights” the courts have invented — including the right to an abortion — and asking, “What good are all the fundamental rights mentioned above if a person cannot consume the food of his/her own choice?” They also claimed that their freedom of association includes the right to gather and consume an illegal product. I don’t think this is reasoning that conservatives should find compelling.

Further, the media line about how you can’t “drink your own cow’s milk” in Wisconsin is a bit of a stretch. The text of the law that authorities are using to crack down on unpasteurized milk says “sell or distribute,” not “consume”; Wisconsin has traditionally interpreted the law to mean that people who own cows can drink the milk without pasteurization. At issue here is a farm that set up a “membership” program through which people could partly “own” the farm and therefore consume the milk — a questionable move that skirts the law.

In other words, the issue is whether the farm was “sell[ing]” the milk, or whether it actually conferred ownership of the cows in some meaningful way — everyone agrees that if you own a cow in the traditional sense, you can consume the milk under Wisconsin law, even in the absence of a “fundamental right.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More