Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Friday, April 21, 2006

Those Activist Judges

Are at it again. Their latest outrage? Increasing the sewer rates for JeffCo residents. The all wise leader of our county commission, Larry Langford, explains:

"The biggest reason why sewer rates that I inherited are what they are is because the courts said you had to do the repairs"

He does not mention why the court ordered the repairs, but the story does:

Ten years ago, a federal judge ruled the county had to repair the system to stop it from polluting the waterways after river advocates proved in court that the county was pouring hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated sewage into the area's rivers.

Not just any rivers, but the rivers from which we draw our drinking water. Larry also neglects to mention the super efficient manner in which the county went about the repairs. For an example, we need go no further than the same federal courthouse, wherein several county officials are awaiting the jury's verdict on bribery charges in connection with the sewer repair project.

Oh, and do not forget that the system is still leaking sewage into our drinking water.

So, should we do as Larry suggests and privatize the sewer? I don't know how a private company could do the job any worse.