I, along with many other Americans, enjoy watching and playing lacrosse. So I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that a bunch of teenage laxers from a Northern Virginian high school, tired of the Obama administration’s fecklessness, took their government to court and won. For the time being, anyway.
From the Washington Post:
Fed up that the federal shutdown was keeping them off their practice fields, a group of young lacrosse players in Northern Virginia challenged the government in court. And at least for now, they won.
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the National Park Service to immediately reopen Langley Fork Park in McLean — which was closed Oct. 1 — and allow the boys and girls of the
McLean Youth Lacrosse organization back onto the fields.
The judge’s order was not final. Attorneys are scheduled to return to federal court in Alexandria on Oct. 18 — provided the courthouse is still open and judges are still hearing civil cases — to hash out a more permanent resolution. But until then, Langley Fork Park will be open for the hundreds of kids in the youth lacrosse group, which sued the Park Service, and for anyone else who might want to use it.
“It’s a major relief,” said David “Bucky" Morris, McLean Youth Lacrosse’s executive director. “I’m not sure how long it goes for, but, hopefully, it’s long enough that it goes through the government shutdown.”
Closing what I presume to be open and unbarricaded fields so that ordinary teenagers -- children, really -- feel the pain of a government shutdown is insane to me. Perhaps this is why parents and community leaders in the area were completely outraged and baffled by what they saw?
Morris, 50, of McLean, said he initially gave little thought to local officials’ warning that the two lacrosse fields at the park would be affected by a government shutdown. He said he figured that no one would stop the roughly 600 kids in his organization from entering the park.
But on Oct. 1, Morris said, temporary barriers went up, blocking off the fields, and U.S. Park Police officers chased away people who moved the barriers aside.
“I guess I was just really perplexed and thinking this is really absurd,” Morris said. “It’s just unfair that the kids are the ones getting affected by it.”
No kidding. Worst of all, the federal government reportedly doesn’t have any business closing the park. Surprise:
Morris said he began to consider legal action in part because he could not understand why the federal government had closed a park it did not run. The close-knit community of McLean lacrosse parents — more than a few lawyers and high-ranking government officials among them — found a lawyer willing to handle the case for free, Morris said. The group filed a lawsuit.
I don’t understand it either. (Or do I?) Either way, this victory may only be temporary and short lived, but one thing is absolutely clear: Don’t mess with laxers. They're not known to be easily intimidated.