SB 1142 died in the AZ State House Committee yesterday. Howard Fischer reports in the Daily Star: Fear that it erodes rights kills Arizona rioting bill.
Not really. It was fear that the
legislators idiotors who might vote for it would look bad. Here’s some of the story.
A state bill that would have allowed protesters to be arrested over the potential to riot is dead — at least for this year.
House Speaker J.D. Mesnard said Monday he does not know whether legislation to expand Arizona’s racketeering and conspiracy statutes to include rioting are needed to go after those who organize violent demonstrations.
“I haven’t heard the policy arguments to decide one way or the other,” he told Capitol Media Services.
But what Mesnard said he has decided is that the public has concluded that SB 1142 would chill the rights of Arizonans to peacefully protest. And that, he said, makes the legislation politically unacceptable.
“You can’t have that many people, whether it does or doesn’t, believing that we’re, in this bill, taking away people’s rights,” Mesnard said.
Not constitutionally unacceptable. Just politically unacceptable. Had the people not spoken up, the bill would have gone through and, indeed, some of our rights under the Constitution of the United States would have been taken away.
As State Sen. Steve Farley noted.
But Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, who tried to stop the Senate from approving the measure, said Monday the legislation was overly broad and would have had a chilling effect on the right of groups to demonstrate for fear a single bad actor could result in racketeering charges against organizers. And Farley also scoffed at the idea that expanding the laws will give police the opportunity to stop riots before they start.
“I’d like to stop crimes before they start, too,” he said. “But you can’t do that if you’re not using thought police.”
The author of the bill, San. John Kavanagh is ever so happy with endowing the police with the ability to read our minds.
For now the people have spoken and SB 1142 is spiked - “at least for this year.”