Liar Law: Texas Makes Tall Fish Tales A Felony

Politicians in Texas are addressing what appears to be a pressing threat to public order: tall fish tales. Texas Sen. Glenn Hegar has introduced a bill to make it a crime to misrepresent the size or weight of a fish caught in a tournament. It is the latest example of the criminalization of American society.

The bill passed the Texas Senate unanimously and was expected to be signed by Gov. Rick Perry.

The law would apply to fresh and saltwater fishing and create a new Class A misdemeanor most of the time. However, that goes up to a third-degree felony if a tournament is offering prizes or cash of more than $10,000 with the possibility of two to 10 years in prison.

Once again, politicians increasingly view criminalization as the only way to show the importance of their cause. Such fish tales could always be charged as fraud, but Hegar wants a crime added to his legislative resume. As this trend continues, every infraction in our society from schools to fish holes is becoming a matter for the criminal justice system.

Source: NY Times

Jonathan Turley

23 thoughts on “Liar Law: Texas Makes Tall Fish Tales A Felony”

  1. The bill passed the Texas Senate unanimously….

    Cue Elaine in the Seinfeld diner witnessing people eating chocolate bars and other snacks using cutlery: ‘Have you all gone completely mad?!’

  2. “The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws”


  3. I don’t fish but I have heard about the tournament fishing fraud. One way to cheat is to put something heavy down the fishs’ throat. Another way is to actually ‘plant’ a really big fish out in the water previous to the tournament by putting it into a hidden cage.

    I guess if you make your living by competing in tournaments, cheating may seem part of the game. That said, I don’t see the need for a new law. If you cheat to get a $10,000 prize, wouldn’t that already be a felony?.

  4. There is never a shortage of bizarre and ridiculous laws that make their ways to the various statehouses across the country. Case in point, the Texas senate passed a bill recently to make it a felony to cheat in a fishing tournament or knowingly allow someone to cheat. A felony. Not only does that mean cheating in a fishing tournament could get you a year in jail, but it means there was already a law on the books and this was just a modification of that law to increase the punishment.

  5. pete has his serious side but when he is on the wit he is awesome …

    Where is HenMan … I hope he is well

  6. does texas have a three strikes and you’re out law?

    because there’s this story going around about some guy feeding a large crowd of people with three fish and some bread.

    i’d hate to see him get life as a habitual offender

  7. anon:

    there is nothing trivial about penis length. One should never lie about it. As with money, if you have a big one dont talk about it and if you have a small one dont talk about it. Bank account that is.

  8. First they came for the fish liars,
    And I didn’t speak out because I was not a fish liar

    Next they came for the people who said they didn’t vote for George W. Bush
    And I didn’t speak out because I voted for Kodos

    Then they came for the penis length liars,
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  9. This is why I am not a conservative any more than I am a liberal.

    The two have wielded full control of the country for years and both pass equally asinine laws and rules.

    What happens if I catch a turtle and claim it is bigger than it really is? As an amphibian we can’t really call it fishing can we?

    Then again, sometimes lobstermen are referred to as deep sea fishermen.

    So much legal research to do, so little time.

  10. See, W=c? This is exactly what I mean when I was talking about bad law. No amount of procedural due process would make this any less stupid or, indeed, wasteful of the court’s time.

  11. How do these sanctions compare with the sanctions for ordinary non-piscine fraud in Texas?
    Does this law make fraud by lying about the size of your… fish worse or better than other fraud (lets say misrepresenting the beauty of your cattle at a cow show)?

  12. If you ask me….Its a bill to get done so they can send the news letter to the constituents….say what they accomplished…The problem here as in a number of coastal states….the damn boat can cost more that they fools houses…..

  13. I’d like to propose a law making it a felony to be a politician.
    I’d also like to propose a law requiring Texas to secede from the union.

  14. I’m not sure why this law was even proposed. In fishing tournaments, don’t the organizers measure and weigh the fish themselves? Where would the opportunity to lie about the size of a fish even occur?

    It will soon be illegal for people who are unemployed to say they’re consultants.

  15. I’d like to propose a law making it a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up $10,000 and 60 months in jail for proposing a law that is not actually needed. ;D

Comments are closed.