Letter: A Lack of “Common Sense: Bad Facts Make Bad Law”


It is discouraging that the Laguna Beach Independent has become a mouthpiece for right-wing lack of common sense in a time that we need to rally together. At a time of crisis that could unify us, we live in a politics let by a tweeter-in-chief that spouts diatribes and divides us. In her column “Bad Facts Make Bad Law,” Republican activist Jennifer Welsh-Zeiter suggests by her very title that it is “bad law” for a judge to find that the government has the constitutional authority to order temporary beach closures in the context of a global pandemic where the virus has no vaccine and is highly contagious. The judge’s decision was good law and deciding otherwise regarding the complaint brought by a Newport Beach Republican would be dangerous. The exercise of “liberty” rights during a pandemic, if not done prudentially, can kill others.

Nowhere in her column does Ms. Welsh-Zeiter mention our responsibilities to each other, and especially those most vulnerable. We need government to organize and coordinate us so that our hospitals and caregivers do not become overrun and this pandemic is controlled. Laguna Beach is a destination and has the highest per capita rate of the virus in Orange County. How many people die depends on how our government functions. The United States has the highest number of cases and deaths from the virus in the world because of how its government has malfunctioned, although it is now being rivaled by Russia and Brazil. We need smart collective decision-making based on science, as we gradually reopen the economy, not abstract challenges to the government taking prudential action to protect us, whether involving Confederate flag-wavers in Huntington Beach or a local Republican activist in Laguna Beach provided a mouthpiece in our “free” paper.

Greg Shaffer, Laguna Beach

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  1. “We need government to organize and coordinate us.” – Greg Shaffer

    FEAR and PANIC are THE driving forces behind this Panic Demic, science is certainly not. There are countless doctors who strongly object to the tyranny being unleashed across America today. This is a rehash of the Climate Change Panic. “Do as we say or everyone is doomed.” Please, go to your safe space and stay there. Driving cars is dangerous but nobody gives a thought to hopping in their car. Not a thought.

    The projections of the Panic Demic were ghastly overstated. With a far smaller population in 1969, the flu claimed 100,000 lives and America didn’t shut down.

    This is insane.

  2. Greg,
    I’m sorry but this one seems to be over your head. Also you must not have read the entire column. Did you miss the part “It was likely right, based on the facts dealt.” I would try to explain what Ms. Zeiter wrote but I don’t have the time. Perhaps you can get a lawyer friend to explain the column to you. You obviously did not understand what was written.

  3. Hi Greg,

    Thank you for reading the Common Sense column. So fortunate are we all to have a Common Sense column that reflects conservative, Republican viewpoints to counter the heavy left leaning columns and LTE’s. I give thanks to the editors of the Indy that recognize the importance of free speech and differing viewpoints in this city and great country.

    Unfortunately your reading of the column is not accurate. If you read it fully, you would find that I wrote that the Judge came to the right legal conclusion, based on the facts that were dealt. That was the entire purpose of the column, that bad facts can make bad law. Here, the plaintiff had bad facts. Had the Governor not opened up the beaches in Orange County from 6-11 a.m. 2 days after the TRO was filed, and had the plaintiff tested the ban, I’m quite confident a very different decision would have been rendered by the Judge, as, in my opinion, that sliding scale would have been tipped in favor of constitutional rights, and the ban would have been determined to be government overreach, not justified by the public health and safety. Government should be involved in and restrict people’s lives and liberties only when absolutely necessary. That’s just my opinion, but one shared by millions. It’s ok to disagree on the degree to which you want government to control your life. As the late great Ronald Regan once said, “The most terrifying 8 words in the English are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”


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