22 June 2011

Chris Christie: Man of the People, or Ruling Class?

Many praises have been heaped on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie by liberty lovers and opponents of the Obama administration. I'm beginning to suspect, though, that what attracts people to him is his blunt and unyielding manner in dealing with critics in the press and other generally left-leaning groups.

Christie drew fire recently for using a State-owned helicopter to travel to his son's baseball game. While family is important, his son was happy he could come, and a State spokesman said the helicopter would be in use for training at the time anyway, it still has the appearance of impropriety.

Now there's a report that Christie has ordered flags in the State of New Jersey to be flown at half-staff on Thursday, to honor deceased saxophonist Clarence Clemons's contributions to the state and its people. Personally, I don't mind honoring Clemons as a great and popular musician. On the other hand, such an order is beyond the provisions of federal law.

The federal law regarding "Position and manner of display" of the United States flag is contained in Title 4 USC, Ch. 1, Sec. 7. Subsection (m) lists the situations in which the President or a Governor may issue a half-staff proclamation. Note that "death of a popular musician" isn't one of them.

Of course, the report doesn't say that the US flag will be flown at half-staff. It may be only the New Jersey State flag, and that may be entirely consistent with law.

After all, isn't a consistent application of the rule of law something all lovers of liberty would want?