Your morning jolt: Bill would ban protests at all private homes

The change doesn’t show up on the Internet version of the bill yet, but we’re told that the House Rules Committee last night altered SB 469 so that it would ban demonstrations at or near all private residences in Georgia.

The bill originally applied a “right to quiet enjoyment” of one’s residence only to those involved in disputes with labor organizations. (The bill, drawn up by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, would also require union members to give annual approval to a dues check-off.)

Pickets targeted at any home – whether belonging to corporate CEO, union executive, crack dealer, child molester, or even newspaper columnist – would be off-limits under the latest version of the bill. Which, according to one constitutional scholar we talked to, has a much better chance of surviving a court challenge.

On a related note, from Walter Jones with Morris News Service:

House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams told members of the Atlanta Press Club in a Tuesday speech that the rush job used on bills like tax reform and limits on picketing prevented Democrats and the public from analyzing the proposals and offering amendments….

“I’m more disturbed by what happened yesterday with 469 and 447 [the unemployment benefits bill] where duly elected members of the General Assembly got no notice and a bill was both introduced and the bill came out in less than 10 minutes,” she said. “Counting on the fact that people didn’t know the meeting was happening, especially when the subject of the meeting was free speech.”

***
Two months after he last threatened to take the lead in the GOP presidential contest with a victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich may be headed back to his one-man campaign days. From Politico.com:

Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a “big-choice convention” strategy, communications director Joe DeSantis [said].

***
Outside the health care war being waged inside the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court, this may be the most important political story of the day — given Florida’s status as a presidential swing state. From the New York Times:

Florida, which is expected to be a vital swing state once again in this year’s presidential election, is enrolling fewer new voters than it did four years ago as prominent civic organizations have suspended registration drives because of what they describe as onerous restrictions imposed last year by Republican state officials.

The state’s new elections law — which requires groups that register voters to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines, among other things — has led the state’s League of Women Voters to halt its efforts this year. Rock the Vote, a national organization that encourages young people to vote, began an effort last week to register high school students around the nation — but not in Florida, over fears that teachers could face fines. And on college campuses, the once-ubiquitous folding tables piled high with voter registration forms are now a rarer sight.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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267 comments Add your comment

honested

March 28th, 2012
8:47 am

Yet another example where the Georgia General Assembly won’t let Constitutionality get in the way of passing an exceptionally bad bill!

Slip

March 28th, 2012
8:49 am

‘The state’s new elections law — which requires groups that register voters to turn in completed forms within 48 hours or risk fines, among other things — has led the state’s League of Women Voters to halt its efforts this year’

Does this make anyone feel like they’re reading news from a third world authoritarian-led country?

Slip

March 28th, 2012
8:57 am

Government officials may not impose restrictions on protests or parades or other lawful assemblies in order to censor a particular viewpoint or because they dislike the content of the message. However, they may impose some limitations on assembly rights by enacting reasonable “time, place and manner” restrictions designed to further legitimate regulatory objectives, such as preventing traffic congestion or prohibiting interference with nearby activities.
Unless there is a safe public space (probably not sidewalk or street) near a residence, I doubt the law can stop it, but the right to assemble has not generally extended to private property.

Slip

March 28th, 2012
8:58 am

restated
If there is a safe public space (probably not sidewalk or street) near a residence, I doubt the law can stop it, but the right to assemble has not generally extended to private property.

Lynn43

March 28th, 2012
9:00 am

Are Georgia and Florida legislators in competition for who can pass the bills that do the most damage?

That's Goofy

March 28th, 2012
9:05 am

FL and GA are locked in an epic struggle to see who can pass the most stupid laws.

UGA 1999

March 28th, 2012
9:06 am

Why are we not talking about the doomed healthcare bill. HOORAY!

td

March 28th, 2012
9:11 am

honested

March 28th, 2012
8:47 am

You also think Obamacare and the right of the government to ban one from having a gun is constitutional also.

td

March 28th, 2012
9:14 am

Slip

March 28th, 2012
8:49 am

A person can walk into almost any government building in the country and register to vote. If they are to stupid or lazy to figure out how to register then they are to stupid to actually vote.

td

March 28th, 2012
9:15 am

UGA 1999

March 28th, 2012
9:06 am

Jim will never put up a blog that goes against or shows the liberal agenda in bad light.

findog

March 28th, 2012
9:16 am

Florida’s so close to the southern hemisphere that they pick up some banana republic governing philosophy…

findog

March 28th, 2012
9:20 am

There is a public right of way along the road frontage of all private property. Minimum is typically ten-foot, most are 25-foot, so a group could picket without blocking the road or sidewalk.

Phil McGroin

March 28th, 2012
9:21 am

WHy not ban protest everywhere. The Wisconsin protest and the occupy protest cost taxpayers thousands to clean up the stink and mess. Why not let the vote decide an election or a free market dictate whether someone keeps their job. Protest are nothing more the unionized thug backing uneducated hippies.

PCU Student

March 28th, 2012
9:22 am

WE’RE NOT GONNA PROTEST!

UGA 1999

March 28th, 2012
9:25 am

You guys really think protesting works? HA.

clyde

March 28th, 2012
9:25 am

I’ll save my celebration until I KNOW the Supreme Court has dumped it.Meanwhile I sit with a slight trepidation.

Newt goes it alone.His dreams of selling more books are intact.

I wouldn’t want anyone protesting in front of my house

Republicans nationwide are bound and determined to put as many stumbling blocks as possible in the path of voters.That which should be an uncomplicated process is becoming somewhat of a nightmare.The gentleman in charge of overseeing voting in Indiana sort of got caught in his own mess,didn’t he?He was a Republican too.Seems he’d know better.

findog

March 28th, 2012
9:26 am

UGA, anyone who thinks they know how the Supreme Court will act is only fooling themselves.
These people upheld the taking of private property because turning beach front homes to big developments was better for the local government’s tax digest. The claimed ruled that corporations are people and that cash has a free speech imperative to secretly direct public opinion over the public airwaves.

UGA 1999

March 28th, 2012
9:29 am

findog…..Did you read any of the transcripts from yesterday’s hearings? It is looking better and better that it will fail.

jd

March 28th, 2012
9:30 am

Let me get this straight — the General Assembly wants to outlaw peaceful protests in or near private property — but wants to protect the right of anyone to carry guns on private property. Do I have that right? Is a voice mightier than a bullet?

td

March 28th, 2012
9:35 am

jd

March 28th, 2012
9:30 am

Groups of people do not have the right to go to a persons private property and terrorize their children with chants and ugly comments. People do have the right to carry a gun.

Centrist

March 28th, 2012
9:35 am

I have no problem with banning protests on private property. Galloway pretends that it will stop such protests at crack dealer houses, union leader, child molester and grossly biased reporters – which has never happened. It is aimed at organized political protests at private residents – which is a Democratic party/ union tactic in other parts of the country. So, of course, Galloway opposes blocking this strategy and puts out straw dogs.

I object to the Republican tactic of short notice meetings and airing of bills in order to avoid public scrutiny, and am glad it is being pointed out. But note it is just like what the Democrats did for decades without the AJC objecting.

Cracking down on fraudulent voter registration is good for our Republic, although not so good for the Democratic party which encourages it. Same for ILLEGAL immigrants.

td

March 28th, 2012
9:37 am

findog

March 28th, 2012
9:26 am

Corporations are no different then unions, associations or any other group of like minded individuals. If their free speech rights are not protected then neither are the free speech rights of any other group.

UGA 1999

March 28th, 2012
9:38 am

Martin supporters in Florida loot a Walgreens…..IMAGINE THAT!

Sara

March 28th, 2012
9:40 am

The mention of private residences is one line (”including private residences”) in a five-section bill. Saying that it is the main focus of the bill is misrepresentation; it would also place heavy fines on protest “at or near” ANY private property. It’s still unconstitutional, in fact, as well as overstepping the state’s authority to regulate unions.

Protest is what helped start the American Revolution. The Sons of Liberty picketed people’s houses, as well as committing other acts of civil disobedience including a little thing in the Boston Harbor with some tea you might have heard of.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
9:40 am

There is no contest between Florida and Georgia. As crazy as the governor of Florida is, Georgia has been inept and incompotent for 20-30 years. Florida just has one batch of Crazy.

Georgia is so far in the lead, its not even funny.

Having said that, the Florida Taliban Voter Suppression Act is indeed unconscionable and an example of why law makers should be able to be prosecuted for attempting to suppress rights.

And yes, most legilslators should be prosecutable for that. Including all the democrats that supported SOPA and all of the Georgia legislators that vote for this bill.

Better yet, do direct democracy. No more Republics. Let the corporations (sure ‘and the unions’) bribe the entire population if they want their special interest legislation to go through. Temper the passion of the mob by requiring multiple votes over time for an issue and the ability to prosecute for anything a truly randomly selected jury believes is ‘harmful’ to the nation and/or state.

Any time the law requires an entire separate library means it isn’t for the people, its for the rich.

td

March 28th, 2012
9:43 am

Centrist

March 28th, 2012
9:35 am

One wonders if Jim would be so inclined to oppose this bill if the Georgia Tea Party decided to set up camp outside of his Cobb county home and yell nasty things at his children and wife everyday?

The short notice hearings and bills is nothing new in the legislature. These types of hearings have been going on for as long as I can remember. We only give the legislature 40 days per year to get their business completed and the state budget normally takes up half the time. This leaves less then 20 days to have hearings on usually more then 500 bills. This is a non story except it is Jim’s chance to take a shot at the Republican legislature.

Real Athens

March 28th, 2012
9:45 am

Galloway touches on Politics from “ATL to DC … Because all politics is local”. It’s on the masthead. Emphasis on ATL and local is on purpose. The general election is still in session.

Why are some so obtuse?

Florida “elected” a governor that has nearly a 70% disapproval rating by the state’s population.

With Newt’s victories in SC and GA what does it herald about GA and the rest of America? Wingfield even endorsed him. Are we marching backwards to the 50’s? Laws restricting assembly? Shades of Jim Crow – except then it was targeted at blacks. Bills introduced without notice and then passed during the middle of the night?

Ethics reform and transparency laws defeated or not brought to vote?

Is this really the kind of government you want? Because it’s the government you’re getting in a one-party system.

One party rule? That’s the former Soviet Union and the south from 1885 to 1970.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
9:46 am

@Myself – I strongly agree with my opinions, just like TD’s recent conversation with Center Rightist. Funny how ‘Centrist’ and TD agree all of the time. But Center Rightist likes to show his ‘bipartisian’ credentials by throwing out some token ‘also the democrats did this thing’ but then pretty much support the Republican position 100% of the time.

Transparent. Pathetic.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
9:48 am

@Real Athens – One party rule is what the majority of this state clearly wants, because they keep voting for The Party again and again. And they did it before when the Dixiecrats ran things. Georgia has either always been a solid blue (racist) or solid red (fascist) state.

td

March 28th, 2012
9:51 am

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
9:40 am

Yes let us go to a direct democracy so that we can do things like put Jim Crow laws back in place so we do not have to have “white flight”. Let the people decide if stupid people should not be able to vote. The libs hate now what the Republican legislature is doing they would just die if the majority of the conservatives in this state actually were able to dictate the law directly.

Jimmy62

March 28th, 2012
9:56 am

I think protesting at a private home is tasteless, as there are probably innocent people there that have nothing to do with what’s going on and are having their lives messed up. I suspect the protestors wouldn’t like it if these innocents showed up at the protestors’ homes to make their lives miserable. Protest at the place of business.

That said, I feel it’s within our rights to protest at a private home, however tasteless or unfair. And I don’t believe in legislating taste or fairness, as that leads to authoritarianism.

Real Athens

March 28th, 2012
9:58 am

Centrist:

You are so high on glue.

“I object to the Republican tactic of short notice meetings and airing of bills in order to avoid public scrutiny, and am glad it is being pointed out. But note it is just like what the Democrats did for decades without the AJC objecting.”

Your grasp of the history of the AJC is laughable. I suggest you brush up on it. A long line of editors that runs through Henry W. Grady to Ralph McGill to Bill Kovach has long exposed illegalities, cronyism and the excesses of one-party rule in GA State Government.

Are you suggesting the paper had a rosy relationship with Tom Murphy or even Zell Miller?

Revisionist history at best; an outright lie at the least.

Jeff

March 28th, 2012
10:01 am

Florida elected Rick Scott governor with a vote of 48.87 to 47.72.

I’m not sure why you feel the need call people obtuse and then put air quotes around the word elected as if you don’t believe it’s legitimate. It basically invalidates your opinion pretty quickly when I see that. One-party rule isn’t what you call the system when your guys lose. It’s what you call the system when you don’t get a choice. That’s not this system.

pick-r-pockets

March 28th, 2012
10:03 am

It would take the “voice” away from people as churches couldn’t protest/picket near the residence of strip club owners or drug dealers. That puts decent people in a position of fearing the patrons and criminals as well as law enforcement and government. Both bills are designed to give an advantage to the “moneyed” to, in the minds of the supporters – “encourage business.” But then there are those who see religious organizations as “bible beating gangs.”

Centrist

March 28th, 2012
10:03 am

@ td – Sorry, but I don’t condone controversial legislation to be purposely held to the end (tax “reform”, protest assembly, etc.) and hearings with purposely obscure titles not mentioning what legislation they are about. It is an unethical tactic.

Posters and the media fretting over Gingrich (or Santorum) winning some southern states is meaningless. Voter turnout was down, and votes were mostly Republican choices. Evangelicals are not the majority of voters in a general election – they were simply a fired up political base in the south and impacted the low turnout. The south will again go solidly for Republican Romney even if some evangelicals stay home because Gingrich and Santorum aren’t a choice. The media just pretends Romney has a problem in the south, purposely ignoring he is a choice far ahead of Democrat Obama.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
10:05 am

@TD – “Denying stupid people the right to vote” is no less controversial than suppressing voter registration or transvaginal ultra sound. The only difference is that special interests have to bribe a lot more people.

Real Athens

March 28th, 2012
10:06 am

Wow. Admitting a longing for Jim Crow “laws” to prevent “white flight” and poll taxes to limit voting to the “informed”.

All of this coming from a voice that doesn’t know the difference between is and are or to and too.

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t actually scary — and sad.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
10:13 am

@Jimmy – Agreed.

Real Athens

March 28th, 2012
10:13 am

FL Governor Rick Scott’s highest approval rating has been 37% and his lowest 26%. Use that search button.

Quote marks suggest that he was elected as a result of … oh never mind. You’re for one-party rule. It kind of invalidates your belief in a Democratic Republic.

pick-r-pockets

March 28th, 2012
10:14 am

It sounds like Centrist is one of those who sees “brown skin and Hispanic surname” and ASSUMES “illegal” and therefore “criminal.” Unfortunately THAT position is uninformed, destructive to society and racist. It’s disturbing to see so much of that in Georgia. Oh for the day when Georgians actually knew facts rather repeated xenophobic rhetoric. We’d have a better chance of attracting international business investments which create jobs.

Centrist

March 28th, 2012
10:14 am

@ Aaron Burr V Mexico – you are well left of center and lump everyone to your right in a single category. I usually don’t respond to partisans like yourself – but make this one time exception.

I am a pro-choice, secular humanist, non-Republican, who supports the “Buffet rule” tax proposal. I do not support either Gingrich or Santorum, and would never vote for them to be president. td and I differ on various points as our politics are divergent – I am to his left, but he is always polite and debates on facts.

td

March 28th, 2012
10:16 am

Centrist

March 28th, 2012
10:03 am

Tax reform has been being talked about since last session and this protest bill is not that controversial unless you are a union or occupy supporter (which in this state are very few).

The budget is a constitutional requirement and must be the first priority of the legislature every year. When you are constitutionally required to balance the budget every year and make sure you address the needs and wants of every legislator then it is going to take a great deal of time. If I am not mistaken the budget was just finalized last week. This only leaves the legislature 5 days to take care of the rest of their business. The vast majority of these bills have been posted since Jan., so, if a legislator or for that matter the public, is shocked that a bill is having a hearing then they did not read the bills.

The only solution to this last minute hearings and bills is to have a professional full time legislature. I do not think the voters of this state want to go in that direction.

pick-r-pockets

March 28th, 2012
10:18 am

Could be the General Assembly is focusing on this kind of SUPPRESSION and DISTRACTION legislation to take the focus off of ETHICS! Remember Georgia is **dead** LAST of all 50 states with regard potential corruption and ethics. Embarrassing (as usual.)

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
10:18 am

@Centrist – My name isn’t “Centrist” I make my positions pretty @#$@$# clear. YOU on the other hand try the framing game by your very name but 90% of every post you make supports the Right Reality agenda.

You SAY you are a centrist, and that’s all well and good but your ACTIONS show you to be on the right. Just like Obama and the pretty pretty words in his speeches are different, I look at what you post not what you claim to believe to render my judgement.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
10:20 am

Here is a hint. When you push Koch/Fox news talking points, you are, by definition, NOT moderate nor are you centrist.

td

March 28th, 2012
10:23 am

Real Athens

March 28th, 2012
10:06 am

Another intellectually dishonest post. I guess when you know your personal philosophy can not be defended with a intellectual argument then you have to stoop to bashing the other side. Just proves that just because a person is grammatically correct in their writing does not mean they know anything about a subject.

td

March 28th, 2012
10:27 am

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
10:18 am

Compared to you ideological views then 70% of the public is a far right winger. What does that tell you about where you stand?

td

March 28th, 2012
10:29 am

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
10:20 am

Here is a hint. When you push Koch/Fox news talking points, you are, by definition, NOT moderate nor are you centrist.

When you push the media matters, NY times, MSNBC talking points then what does that say about you?

Real Athens

March 28th, 2012
10:30 am

TD:

Copied directly from your post at 9:51. Check it.

“Yes let us go to a direct democracy so that we can do things like put Jim Crow laws back in place so we do not have to have “white flight”. Let the people decide if stupid people should not be able to vote. The libs hate now what the Republican legislature is doing they would just die if the majority of the conservatives in this state actually were able to dictate the law directly.”

You post so much garbage on here you can’t even remember what you wrote.

UGA 1999

March 28th, 2012
10:31 am

Aaron….You do realize that FoxNews is the #1 news agency in the country right now.