SB142

Dear Donald –

Did you see the news about Senate Bill 142 in Arizona?  It just passed the Senate on a party line vote last week and is on its way to the House.  You’d probably like it, but odds are that a Justice Gorsuch will be reviewing it before too long. 

You see, SB142 is intended, supposedly, to go after paid protestors, though for the life of me I can’t say I’ve ever met one. The bill allows police to charge not only rioters with rioting, but also anyone else involved in the protest, including any peaceful demonstrators and event organizers. In so doing, they open up everyone attending a march to criminal charges if even one person causes property damage. By that logic, everyone attending your inauguration could have beenarrested because a few people decided to smash windows. 

And that’s not all. SB142 also links those charges with the state’s RICO statues, which allows the seizure of personal assets to reimburse victims of crime. It was meant to financially cripple organized crime. It may be used in Arizona to bankrupt rally organizers if anyone causes a disturbance.

This  bill serves no purpose other than to chill free speech. It is designed to intimidate organizers into not planning rallies or demonstrations with the fear that, if someone,anyone, connected with the rally or not, decides to commit vandalism, they will be personally liable, and potentially spend a year in jail. 

One thing about you right-wingers, you’re definitely not subtle about this stuff. Voter ID laws? What do the black folks have? Let’s block those. Protests in the streets? Let’s lock up and bankrupt the organizers. 

It’s a scary world we live in, and bills like SB142 make jr a little scarier by silencing the house of the people. 

The first amendment is precious and must be protected. The people have a right to speak up without fear of reprisal, regardless of message. I fear Arizona has forgotten that. 

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