NC legislative committee changing rules for building

If you have a bunch of protestors pointing out your bad policies, what's the best way to solve the problem?

If you're Republicans in the NC legislature, the answer is simple - change the rules to make the protestors go away.

WRAL reports that a committee that hasn't met since the 90s has been convened to look at the rules for the legislative building. The ACLU and others are concerned that the new rules will allow police to do "selective enforcement" against particular groups or individuals.

For example, one new rules reads, "Making noise that is loud enough to impair others' ability to conduct a conversation in a normal tone of voice while in the general vicinity and may include singing, clapping, shouting, or playing instruments."

Preston [Sarah Preston, policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union] said that could set up a situation in which some are allowed to clap, while leaders clamp down on others.

Other provisions say visitors can't "disturb" work in the building.

"We do have concerns about how that would be interpreted," Preston said.

And there's this little tidbit:

House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger are ex officio members of the commission, but it's unclear whether they will participate in Thursday's meeting.

Teddy wonders if Tillis is going to get involved in this one as he tries to be both House Speaker and a candidate for the US Senate.

Comments

Idle thought

What would happen if some of the Dem legislators participated in the protests at a point when the Republicans are working on one of the "hot button" pieces of legislation related to teacher pay or another abortion motorcycle safety bill?

Guess what Thom?

The legislative building is not your house. It's our house.

Do you REALLY need yet another unconstitutional law on your list of "accomplishments"? You've already shepherded through enough of them to demonstrate that you have insufficient knowledge of and/or respect for the Constitution to serve in public office.

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

No legs to stand on

Silent protests will be equally effective, perhaps even more effective.

The rule changes passed

The rule changes passed through the committee this morning, over the strong objections of Rep. Larry Hall.

The rules are somewhat vague in assessing what is a disturbance and what is not, purposefully they say, to leave some things to the discretion of whatever official is charged with making the decision. I was on the second floor yesterday, around the fountain area, and the noise, while not deafening, was indeed too loud to allow anyone to talk at a 'conversational level' and be heard. There were families present, taking pictures of their new legislative family member, and various groups standing around and talking. On one hand, this could be defined as allowing business to be conducted in a normal fashion, and under other circumstances could be used as an excuse to clear the building or arrest the offenders. There is an awful lot here left open to interpretation.

Acoustics in this building are awful. The building was built of hard surfaces that reflect sound and big open spaces that echo that sound.

Rep. Hall commented that if these changes were intended to reflect the legal lessons learned from the Moral Monday arrests then it would be best to allow all those cases, including your's, James, to get through the legal system before proceeding. But that was not to be. The committee is dominate by Republicans.

Not to worry, all was couched in the language of ensuring public safety and allowing the business of the legislature to proceed….

The committee room was packed with observers. Now I am about to go upstairs and sit in the gallery, to watch the very full slate of bills each house has on their agenda for the day. But don't worry, I won't make a peep….

Observers, yes

Public comment, no. Deliberation by full House or Senate, no.

A committee of 8 Republicans and 2 Democrats that hasn't met since the 1990s has decided what we are and are not allowed to do on our own house. Don't try to speak out against their policies or you'll be arrested.

Small committees who decide to arrest ordinary citizens for opposing those in power isn't what is typically associated with a representative democracy.

Now those folks will step in front of microphones and screech, "Freedom! Small Government! Constitution!"

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"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

New rules

Same as the old rules:

"If we say it's illegal it's illegal. We're in charge, goddamit."

Fascism! It's already Here Dude?

No doubt you have been in a time warp and two centuries behind.. That's like Obama State Department saying there is no Ukraine Nazi's running the present 4 th Reich Ukraine government..