WBEZ | laws http://www.wbez.org/tags/laws Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Canada's Courts side with sex workers http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-12-23/canadas-courts-side-sex-workers-109430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/prostitution-is-not-a-choice-2 logo.gif" alt="" /><p><p>Last week Canada&#39;s highest court struck down the country&rsquo;s anti-prostitution laws, siding with a group of sex workers who argued the ban made their work more dangerous. We&#39;ll take a look at the potential impact of the court&#39;s decision.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-canada-s-courts-side-with-sex-workers/embed" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-canada-s-courts-side-with-sex-workers.js" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-canada-s-courts-side-with-sex-workers" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Canada's courts side with sex workers" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-12-23/canadas-courts-side-sex-workers-109430 Long John's sign raid http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/long-johns-sign-raid-100085 <p><p>&ldquo;The Mayor of Chicago is one tough, ornery dude. You don&rsquo;t mess with him.&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s what people were thinking when they heard the news from June 18<sup>th</sup>&mdash;155 years ago. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Long John Wentworth&ndash;all 6 feet 6 inches of him&ndash;had been elected mayor in the spring of 1857. He&rsquo;d pledged to clean up the city. Today that would mean an attack on political corruption. In Long John&rsquo;s time, he meant a <em>literal</em> clean up. Chicago looked like a junkyard.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/06-18--Wentworth.jpg" style="height: 466px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Mayor John Wentworth (author's collection)" /></div><p>The city&rsquo;s sidewalks were still made of wooden planks. In the downtown area, many merchants had erected large signs and awnings over the public walk. They also set out display cases and piled up wooden boxes. People had to step into the muddy street to get around them.</p><p>There were laws against these obstructions. They had never been enforced. Maybe Long John had banged into an overhanging sign once too often. Whatever the reason, he decided to do something about it.</p><p>The textbook way would start with the police giving the merchant a ticket. Then there would be a court hearing, perhaps delayed by continuances for a few months. In the end, the judge might make the offender pay a fine&ndash;or might not. All this time, the obstruction would still be in place.</p><p>That wasn&rsquo;t good enough for Long John. Late on the evening of June 18<sup>th</sup>, he assembled his police. He ordered them to get rid of any sign or barrel or wooden Indian that was blocking the public sidewalk. The cops fanned out and went to work.</p><p>Long John had hired a fleet of wagons for the occasion. They slowly drove through the streets while the police tossed the signs and other junk into them. When everything was collected, it was dumped into a pile outside the city market.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/06-18--sign%20raid.jpg" title="The Morning After (from Andreas, 'History of Chicago')" /></div><p>The next morning, the offenders were invited to come and pick up their property. Many complained that the Mayor had acted illegally. They said the cops had been drunk and caused needless damage. One dentist ran a newspaper ad, saying &ldquo;Long John or one of his imps stole my sign away, but not my official instruments. I remain in business at 77 Lake Street.&rdquo;</p><p>But the sidewalks were now clear. Long John knew that the public backed him, and there was little chance of nuisance lawsuits&ndash;Chicago still had very few lawyers. That bit of progress would come later.</p></p> Mon, 18 Jun 2012 07:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/long-johns-sign-raid-100085 Top 3 at 3: Interesting local laws http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-02-17/top-3-3-interesting-local-laws-96512 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-17/5583962649_abc576799b_z[1].jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-17/5583962649_abc576799b_z%5B3%5D.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title="(Flickr/Dean Thorpe)"><strong>1) In Indiana, it’s illegal to buy or sell motorcycles on Sundays.</strong><br> If you decide to celebrate the warm weather by purchasing a motorcycle, make sure you don't do it on a Sunday if you're in Indiana.&nbsp; Otherwise, you could face a class B misdemeanor under current state law.</p><p>Indiana's Sunday ban on motorcycle sales is what's known as a blue law. Blue laws restrict the what citizens are allowed to purchase on Sundays. In Indiana, carryout liquor is also illegal to buy or sell on Sundays.</p><p>Indiana could soon lift its ban on Sunday motorcycle sales; proposed legislation legalizing Sunday sales has passed the Indiana Senate and recently cleared the House Commerce Committee.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2) Normal, Illinois has an interesting law on its books, but maybe not the one you've heard of...</strong><br> Call me crazy, but when I stumbled accross some questionable sources claiming that Normal, Illinois has a law against making faces at a dog, I thought it could be true. Town of Normal attorney Wayne Karplus set me straight, though.&nbsp; He says Normal has never had any kind of law prohibiting the faces one makes at a dog, although he does get a fair number of inquiries about it. In fact, Karplus says he gets so many inquiries that he created a list of the other unique laws Normal does have so that he doesn't send people like me away empty-handed.<br> <br> Karplus was running off to court when we talked. He couldn't find his list of laws, but luckily, he knew one by heart. He calls it the "Noah's Ark Rule." Karplus says that in Normal, residents are allowed to have two cats, two dogs, two guinea pigs, but NOT three of any animal of the same kind.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3)</strong> <strong>Joliet, Illinois' municipal code </strong><strong>includes instructions on how "Joliet" should be pronounced.</strong><br> But don't worry too much if you get it wrong--Joliet City Clerk Janet Traven says there's no punishment or fine you could face.</p></p> Fri, 17 Feb 2012 19:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-02-17/top-3-3-interesting-local-laws-96512 Ask Me Why: Should we open U.S. borders? http://www.wbez.org/story/ask-me-why-should-we-open-us-borders-87092 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-26/immigration photo 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>America’s immigration debate is usually framed in reference to folks, legal or not, who come here from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Today we’re casting the net a little wider, in a conversation with two people with immigrant roots in another part of the world.</p><p>Ravi Radheshwar, 32, grew up in Michigan. He’s an American citizen, but the son of immigrant parents who came here from India to pursue graduate school. His friend Vijay Subramanian, 39, has a story similar to that of Radheshwar’s own parents. Subramanian came to the U.S. from India in 1995 for graduate school and then stayed for a stint as an engineer at Motorola.</p><p>For the final installment of <a href="../../series/ask-me-why">Ask Me Why</a>, our recorded conversation series that tries to get at the heart of why we believe what we believe, we’ve asked these two friends to mull over whether the U.S. should disband its strict immigration laws in favor of a more welcoming set of “open border” policies.</p><p>Subramanian is frustrated with America’s immigration laws, and the way they seems to punish and reward different people arbitrarily. He would like to see people move freely around the globe. Radheshwar acknowledges that America’s immigration laws need reform, but doesn’t want to abolish them entirely. He worries the massive influx of people that could result from disbanding such laws would lead to major financial strain for local and national governments.</p><p>You can listen to an edited version of their conversation in the audio posted above.</p><p><a href="../../series/ask-me-why">Ask Me Why</a> is produced in collaboration with the <a href="http://www.prairie.org/" target="_blank">Illinois Humanities Council</a>, and was made possible by a grant from The Boeing Company.</p></p> Fri, 27 May 2011 21:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/ask-me-why-should-we-open-us-borders-87092