For anyone who doesn’t understand the significance of the number of federal judges President Trump has been appointing since he took office in 2107, the case below, about a woman who is being threatened with jail time or massive fines, thanks to the decision of a federal judge, simply because she opted to plant flowers in lieu of a grass on her private property, because of her grass allergies, is a perfect example of why it matters.
A federal judge here Wednesday tossed out a lawsuit filed by a St. Peters woman who is allergic to grass and who challenged a city ordinance requiring her to plant it.
U.S. District Judge John Ross’ 17-page ruling said Janice and Carl Duffner “failed to identify a fundamental right that is restricted by the Turf Grass Ordinance.”
After unsuccessfully suing in state court, the Duffners filed their federal suit in 2016, claiming the ordinance was “unnecessary for the advancement of any compelling or permissible state objective” and “imposes a permanent obligation on the owner to cultivate and maintain that unwanted physical presence on their property for no reason other than that the government commands it.”
King 5 talked to Duffner’s neighbor, Mark Letko about her yard:
“All of our friends want to walk through it,” said Letko. “I don’t know why anyone would want to take this pleasure away from her.”
A pleasure to some but not all. Neighbors complained about Janice’s garden back in 2014.
“Some of the people are saying it’s going to bring down the value of our home,” said Letko
Letko said that’s not true but the Duffner’s were told they were in violation of a city ordinance.
It’s a law that says residents must have at least 50-percent turf grass in their yard.
“If it was there to harm people or something like that but it’s not that way,” Letko said.
The suit said such ordinances could lead to cities mandating swimming pools or holiday light shows to boost property values and said the Duffners could face jail time or fines of $7,490 to nearly $188,000.