Bill Passes House: Protests Near Secret Service Protected Folk Effectively Outlawed

In case you question the value of having a Justin Amash or a Ron Paul in the House of Representatives, they were two of only three votes against H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011."

As reprinted in this angry Salon blog post, Rep. Amash's reasons for objecting:

a more truthful moniker for HR 347 would be the "First Amendment Rights Eradication Act". As Representative Amash lamented on his Facebook page:

"Current law makes it illegal to enter or remain in an area where certain government officials (more particularly, those with Secret Service protection) will be visiting temporarily if and only if the person knows it's illegal to enter the restricted area but does so anyway. [H.R. 347] expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it's illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it's illegal... [And to] show you the extent to which the public is misled and misinformed about the legislation we are voting on, read one prominent media outlet's coverage of the same bill: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/212873-house-approves-white-house-trespass-bill-sends-to-obama The report mischaracterizes not only current law but also the changes proposed by the bill."

Full text of the bill, which includes all its penalties for attempting or conspiring to do the forbidden disruption as well. Those penalties are:

 The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) is--

‘(1) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both, if--

‘(A) the person, during and in relation to the offense, uses or carries a deadly or dangerous weapon or firearm; or

‘(B) the offense results in significant bodily injury as defined by section 2118(e)(3); and

‘(2) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.

 And the laws own language on how you run afoul of it:

 In this section--‘(1) the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area--

‘(A) of the White House or its grounds, or the Vice President’s official residence or its grounds;

‘(B) of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting; or

‘(C) of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance; and

‘(2) the term ‘other person protected by the Secret Service’ means any person whom the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect under section 3056 of this title or by Presidential memorandum, when such person has not declined such protection.’.

Russia Today with more about how this law could be abused:

The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance."

It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.

Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection. For the American protester, this indeed means that glitter-bombing the former Pennsylvania senator is officially a very big no-no, but it doesn’t stop with just him. Santorum’s coverage under the Secret Service began on Tuesday, but fellow GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has already been receiving such security. A campaign aide who asked not to be identified confirmed last week to CBS News that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has sought Secret Service protection as well....

In the text of the act, the law is allowed to be used against anyone who knowingly enters or remains in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, but those grounds are considered any area where someone — rather it’s President Obama, Senator Santorum or Governor Romney — will be temporarily visiting, whether or not the public is even made aware. Entering such a facility is thus outlawed, as is disrupting the orderly conduct of “official functions,” engaging in disorderly conduct “within such proximity to” the event or acting violent to anyone, anywhere near the premises. Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense, but those occurrences covered as special event of national significance don’t just stop there, either. And neither does the list of covered persons that receive protection....

With Secret Service protection awarded to visiting dignitaries, this also means, for instance, that the federal government could consider a demonstration against any foreign president on American soil as a violation of federal law, as long as it could be considered disruptive to whatever function is occurring.

The vote tally of shame. Where is your Dennis Kucinich now, progressives?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Abdul||

    Russia Today is giving us lessons in democracy and protestors?

    If Yakov were alive, he would say "What a country" with a more ironic and dejected tone.

  • NeonCat||

    Isn't he alive and well in Branson, MO?

  • UCrawford||

    Only on the outside...he's dead on the inside because he has to ply his trade in Missouri. :)

  • der||

    I'm an attractive, caring, honest, good hearted women in search of bilover to explore bisexuality. I, so I got a profile(lily green) on --Datebi dot c'0m--. It's the first and safe place for men and women looking for intimate encounters, casual encounters. Come in and discover the excitement you deserve! ^_^

  • der||

    I'm an attractive, caring, honest, good hearted women in search of bilover to explore bisexuality. I, so I got a profile(lily green) on --Datebi dot c'0m--. It's the first and safe place for men and women looking for intimate encounters, casual encounters. Come in and discover the excitement you deserve! ^_^

  • Alt-Text||

    "All your protest are belong to us."

  • ||

    From the embedded NBC reporter with Ron Paul's campaign, from a Michigan press availability:

    Anthony Terrell ‏ @AnthonyNBCNews
    Reacting to Secret Service given to Romney & Santorum & requested by Gingrich @ronpaul said they're joining the welfare state #decision2012

  • ||

    Looks like I might be getting arrested soon.

  • Christina||

    Who needs the First Amendement anyway? It's so outdated. Effing Founders with their old-fashioned notions about freedom.

  • Alack||

    Yeah, that thing's, like, 100 years old. They were all farmers who didn't know how evil corporations would be, so I guess we can cut them some slack but it's time to repeal that thing for good.

  • Dave||

    America needs more regulation.

  • Mike in Texas||

    You, Christina, are an idiot.

  • Pat||

    Perhaps a lesson in detecting sarcasm might be in order?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Simple solution: discontinue Secret Service protection for anyone. Let the SS (*ahem*) focus on catching counterfeiters.

  • ||

    Simpler solution: Line up everybody who voted for this and shoot them in the back of the head for violation of the oath of office and treason. I like that one better.

  • ||

    No, no, that's a little too KGB. Go olde schoole American:

    Pitchforks. Torches. Tar. Feathers. Cleansing, cleansing flame.

    Pyramid of skulls optional, but adds a nice multicultural touch.

  • ||

    If there's any justice at all in the universe, a hell will spontaneously appear just to provide this bill's author with a place to languish in utter agony for all eternity.

  • T||

    We need the pyramid, RC. Have to remind the politicians of the price of repression.

  • ||

    "Let it be known unto the world and all of its people -- that here lie the despots of yesteryear, and that this is the final reward of all tyrants." Or something.

    That's what a huge plaque on the pyramid should say.

  • ||

    yeah, but have you ever tried hanging a plaque on an uneven surface of shifting skulls? It aint easy, telluwhut.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The skulls need to be mortared together and coated with a vitrifying glaze to preserve them.

  • ||

    now that you mention it, I think this was covered in a previous DIY Skull Pyramid thread.

  • ||

    Well, Obama will veto this bill if it reaches his desk in the name of free speech, of course.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    (takes breath)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHA

    Hey TEAM BLUE, and while we're at it, TEAM RED too: fuck you, you scum. Die in a fire.

  • ||

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I don't see a problem. I see a trend. A trend in which legislators seek to make themselves moving zones (or bubbles, if you prefer) in which the Constitution does not apply.

    Sort of like the Ysalamiri, except for the Constitution rather than the Force.

  • Alack||

    Fuck yeah, WookiePedia. The Hand of Thrawn trilogy is my second favorite piece of Star Wars-related media, after everything related to Darth Treya.

  • ||

    I thought it was Darth Atreyu, and he flew around on his big dog/dragon thing.

  • Alack||

    Darth Falcor and his apprentice, Atreyu, were (in later canon) considered to be part of a Sith legend called "The Never-Ending Empire", rather than two actual Sith Lords. It was a parable originated by Darth Bane to show the virtue of the Rule of Two.

  • Emperor Sparky||

    Good. Goooooood. Let the hate flow.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The Hand of Thrawn might have been the only good series in the Star Wars EU. Quality after has been spotty at best and utter shit at worst (looking at you, Traviss).

  • ||

    If there is a bubble where the constitution does not apply then the law does not apply either.
    Free fire zone?

  • Tim||

    This is really about keeping the riff-raff out of $10,000 a plate fundraisers.

  • ||

    I didn't know that guy from the Rocky Horror Picture show was such an activist.

  • ||

    I've been beating this drum all morning. I'm glad they finally put up a story about it.

    Between this shit and the fact that you can be arrested for this leads me to believe we are past the tipping point.

    FTA: He will now face two counts of inducing panic, one count each of aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment. All of the charges are first-degree misdemeanors.

    Fucking fuck!!!!!

  • UCrawford||

    I'm surprised as well that it took Reason this long to post an article about this law. Usually they're where I get my information on it. Pretty unbelievable piece of crap bill they passed...I wonder how long it takes one of the losers running for President to kick off the first court case about it by going all heavy-handed?

  • Sparky||

    No shit! It's almost like they had other things to get done today.

  • UCrawford||

    I got taken to task by a liberal friend of mine for posting the Russia Today article because of the source...how pathetic is it that Congress just passed a law basically outlawing free speech around political candidates, and yet the only major news organization to catch it was some pro-Putin propaganda factory?

    And I'd say this law is much more of a slap in the face to free speech than the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act that the Citizens United decision smacked down...leave it to Congress to find a way to replace bad legislation with even worse legislation.

  • Raston Bot||

    Isn't RT's Thom Hartmann a liberal's wet dream?

    RT and AlJ confuse many of my idiot friends too. I enjoy sourcing their articles and shows b/c of the kneejerk shock response.

  • UCrawford||

    My friend is a Russo-phile and absolutely hates Putin and anyone who says nice things about Putin (and I can't say he's entirely wrong), so he pretty much has to hate Russia Times.

  • ||

    All the extended family we left back in Russia hate Putin's guts to the deepest of Satan's pits. That sack of shit's not too popular nowadays.

  • UCrawford||

    He shouldn't be. He's got all of the qualities of the creepiest, most self-absorbed dictators and he's been skirting the law to keep power for over a decade.

  • ||

    OT, but I wish American immigration law didn't suck so many balls, since I have a cousin (a mechanical engineer) who's been dreaming of moving to the United States since he married in 2001. Escaping Putin's Russia makes it even more shitty that he can't move here.

  • UCrawford||

    No argument here...I lived on the Mexican border for the last couple of years and I never saw anything happen there that convinced me that our country would fall to pieces if we no longer had immigration quotas. Hope your cousin is able to make the trip someday.

  • ||

    I sure CNN had helicopter coverage of a cat in a tree. Or anything that could be seen from a helicopter.

    Or that somewhere, a celebrity spoke...

  • David||

    Not Ron Paul, but Paul Broun(not quite the same I believe) voted against the bill. At least according to the Hill.

  • Brian Doherty||

    As I wrote, Amash and Ron Paul were "two of only three" (singled out because most oft written about in these parts). Paul Broun was the third nay.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Broun's out of Georgia, and also has gotten a fair amt of Reason mention, though he's not that often on my radar screen:

    http://reason.com/search?cx=00.....&sa=Search

  • ||

    Slow down, Brian. You're stealing my thunder.

    Ooh, regulars, now that we have a big cheese on here, maybe it's time to bring up The Slammer and a certain wedding.

  • David||

    Yep, the hill got it wrong.
    They included Keith Ellison and excluded Ron Paul of the three.

  • jt||

    so you were wrong and paul is valuable. thx for not admitting wrongful notion on your part

  • ||

    O.K. I am very confused and disappointed. I said to hell with the reports and went straight to thomas.gov for the official role call votes for H.R. 347. According to the official record, Paul did not vote against the bill instead recording an NV. Broun, Ellis and Amash are the only recorded no votes. WTF? This is a no brainer.

  • UCrawford||

    Both Paul Broun and Ron Paul voted against it. They were part of what appears to be a very small group.

  • UCrawford||

    Not that most non-libertarians wouldn't confuse Broun and Paul...I doubt most could even tell you what their policy differences are.

  • ||

    They're wrong. Here's the Congressional Record. Broun and Paul both voted against it.

  • ||

    Justin Amash was the only other person to cast a Nay vote.

  • Brian Doherty||

    there is a link right there in the last line to the vote tally

  • UCrawford||

    The Hill also misstated what the bill does. They neglected to mention that it changes the law from only punishing those parties who "intentionally" disrupt proceedings to punishing those who might possibly disrupt proceedings, even unintentionally. Pretty big difference there for The Hill to miss.

  • ||

    Fucking Mens Rea, how does it work?

  • nicole||

    Fortunately, it doesn't have to anymore.

  • Brian Doherty||

    Not only that, but those attempting or conspiring to do such disrupting!

  • UCrawford||

    Yup. And people don't even have to actually disrupt an event to be charged...just have "the intent" to disrupt an event. Utterly arbitrary with no burden of proof on the law when they arrest someone.

    "Prove to me you didn't plan to disrupt Santorum's speech."

  • ||

    With absolutely ZERO hyperbole, it can be stated that the federal government doesn't take its intended scope seriously in any sphere.

  • UCrawford||

    You know, I used to believe that's because they're horrible people who just hated freedom and did all this stuff in a naked pursuit of power. But then, after attending enough appearances of D.C. political "intellectuals" I finally just came to the conclusion that living too long in the D.C. bubble causes a person's head to retract firmly into their ass and they lose all perspective on the outside world. Basically, they don't pass unconstitutional laws because they hate the Constitution...they pass unconstitutional laws because they have no idea how unconstitutional laws affect real people because they have no idea what real life is like outside of their little bubble.

  • ||

    very well said. at the risk of sounding crude, does this new law restrict access to prior accessible areas normally used for protest, like i.e. the plaza or Washington Monument? Or mostly already restricted areas?

  • Brandon||

    You really think it would be Santorum's speech they'd be worried about? Hell, if the NFL hadn't acted pre-emptively yesterday, the entire league might be in prison by now.

  • UCrawford||

    By the way...

    Since I've got your attention in comments, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your book "Radicals for Capitalism". Thanks for a great and informative read.

  • BakedPenguin||

    This will stop people from singing at Obama's $5k fundraisers!

  • ||

    So...aren't you trying to disrupt enforcement of the law?
    Is there a reward being offered?

  • ||

    How can you people discuss this when there are way more important questions that need to be answered. At least Forbes thinks so.

  • Tim||

    How's the marriage thing going, are you nervous about losing your virginity?

  • ||

    LOL

  • Tim||

    It's perfectly normal to have...questions. We family men are here to help you little brother.

  • Tim||

    Once the Hummingbird spots a flower in bloom he approaches and gently inserts his...

  • Tim||

    Having achieved maximum thrust, the shuttle accelerates smoothly to orbital velocity. Bear in mind that the payload bay doors are not opened until after orbital insertion has been achieved.

  • ||

    Are you really going to tell your kids about space docking? That should really wait until college, at least.

  • Tim||

    They'll just learn it on the street. Then you got issues with the dangerous re-entry maneuver.

  • ||

    Wait, I've never heard of anyone attempting re-entry after space docking. Is that advisable?

  • ||

    isn't reentry done tail first?

  • ||

    Where the flying mother-fuck is the outrage? Where's the scorn and the awareness? We're a country of 300 MILLION people, and there's no significant number of us genuinely disgusted by this? How fucking far-gone are we?

    This republic is dead. Jesus fucking Christ. And there's not a single credible movement for secession anywhere, so it seems that's off the table, too.

    God forgive us.

  • ||

    I'm outraged.

  • ||

    It's bipartisan, dude. That means it doesn't merit discussion in the media. Do you see now?

  • UCrawford||

    It's not only bipartisan, it was damn near universal. Three nay votes? Three!?! And nobody saw this thing coming up until they passed it?

  • Alack||

    AND all three dissenting votes were Republican. That's how you know that anyone who doesn't support this bill is a racist market fundamentalist.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    And probably a goldbug too.

  • Ska||

    Still can't fucking believe this.

  • Raston Bot||

    I look forward to the ACLU breaking this one at the Supreme Court in 12 years.

  • ||

    Ima gonna have to keep an eye out for when my local Congresspuke has some doings, to ask him why he hates America.

    First, I'll ask him if there are any Secret Service agents around, because I wouldn't want him to have me arrested if I ask him an uncomfortable question.

  • ||

    What about this putrid piece of totalitarian shit in the Senate?

  • ||

    Shit, it's already passed in the Senate. Next step, Obama, who will sign it and then decry it.*

    *He'll say it would have passed over a veto anyway and the press will not hold him to task.

  • ||

    I guess the Shitstick-in-Chief missed his constitutional law instruction on how the three branches of government are separate.

  • ||

    As did his predecessor when he signed the Patriot Act.

    Face it, they're all either malignant assholes or they're ... well, let's just say they're all malignant assholes.

  • ||

    Sir, please refrain from your scurilous attacks on malignant as*holes - in fact, malignant as*hole conduct is rather virtuous compared to the supporters of the act. We should celebrate the day their conduct matches a malignant as*hole...

  • UCrawford||

    Now, here's my pragmatic response for finding the bright side in this law...

    Ron Paul, if he's smart, has just been provided a wedge issue with this legislation. He now has clear, incontrovertible proof of how his opponents openly oppose free speech and the First Amendment. It's simple to explain, it's infuriating, and it's an issue that affects both lefties and righties. And because he was one of only three representatives to vote against it, and (I believe) the only presidential candidate not to take Secret Service protection, he is now in the unique position of being the ONLY free speech candidate in the race.

    Let's see if Ron Paul figures this out and can do anything with it.

  • ||

    Does Paul's campaign have an email address, or a public contact line, or something of that sort? Let's spam the living shit out of his servers with what you just suggested.

  • UCrawford||

    If I had it I would have sent it already instead of tossing it out in the comments. :)

    But yes, I hope they do use this. Successful campaigns need to define themselves and the problem with Ron Paul is that his campaign defines itself by an issue that most people don't understand and won't take the time to understand (the Fed and fiscal policy). The issue a good candidate defines himself by needs to be something very easy to explain to the public and something that they feel can affect them directly. It ideally also has to appeal to not only the left or right, but also centrists. This could be such an issue...and if Obama signs off on it, it could be something that appeals to centrists AND both the left and right. I hope he figures that out...he's pretty sharp about some things on campaigns.

  • DK||

    Yes, it would be great if Paul hammered on this. Not that it would make any difference in the election, but it would be quite interesting to see how the MSM "reports" it.

  • UCrawford||

    Maybe Fox News would only omit mention of his name in 25% of their election stories rather than the current 50%.

    I used to believe that the Paulestinians were just demonstrating a victim complex about the "Ron Paul media blackout" until this election. They had a point.

  • ||

    A constitutional issue? Only 0.000000000000000000000000001 of the MSM is aware of the constitution.
    Take the number of fundamental particles in the universe, put a 1 over it, and that is the percentage of MSM reporters who know anything about the 1st amendment...

  • kilroy||

  • ||

    Here's that web for Dr. Paul : mailto:contactus@ronpaul2012.com

  • Brandon||

    Um, none of his opponents are sitting congressmen, so they can still pay lip service to the first amendment before slipping in the "But..."

  • db||

    How the fuck did this slip under everyone's radar?

  • ||

    Because it's bipartisan. That means everyone agrees, so no discussion necessary.

    Yes, the media is a nest of disgusting statist enablers.

  • Tim||

    It's bipartisan because they're all sick of having fundraisers disrupted by screaming idiots. It puts the donors off their feed.

  • Ska||

    Democrats - "Good, now those fucking tea partiers can't disrupt our shit."

    Republicans - "Good, now those OWS clowns can't disrupt our shit."

    *facepalm through skull*

  • UCrawford||

    ^This.

    Libertarians - we'd change it but our organization can barely get enough volunteers to hand out pamphlets on college campuses, much less organize coherent and competent campaigns to get people into Congress.

  • Brandon||

    But...But..Ron....Paul?

  • fish||

    Yes, the media is a nest of disgusting statist enablers.

    But on another thread we were assured that the media was scrupulously impartial.....oh wait...never mind!

  • Sparky||

    Because the majority of Americans probably think this is an awesome idea to keep our elect officials safe from terrorists.

  • ||

    This is why I wish Free State-type projects actually worked on the scale they were intended for. Fucking fuck.

  • UCrawford||

    The problem with Free State projects is that it requires people to live around libertarians in large numbers.

    I'm a libertarian myself and so are quite a few of my friends, but even I've got to admit that we're very tough to take in large doses.

  • Nobody||

    Yah, they're so obnoxious with their insistence on being left alone and not bothering others. WTF, you trolls need better training.

  • ||

    I am sad (but not especially surprised) to note that my own representative, Sam Farr (D-CA), voted Yea. Do you think that maybe the Congress practices the little "Yea" chant that NBC is now using during commercial breaks to promote the "Parks and Recreation" TV series? ("Yea," "Yea," "Yea,"...)

  • ||

    I'd like to think it wouldn't get past a SCOTUS challenge, but you can never tell with those chuckleheads. The Kagen and The Wise Latina will do what Obama tells them and Scalia, Alito and Thomas are so intent on sucking cop-cock that any excuse to lock of hippies after Obama is gone will be mighty tempting.

  • ||

    Because if there's anything that America's Ruling Class needs more of, it's isolation from reality.

  • UCrawford||

    Agreed. If there's anything our politicians have convinced me of lately, it's that their job isn't close to miserable enough.

    The laws should be loose enough on the people politicians have to interact with that politicians should WANT to quit their job after only a couple of terms.

  • db||

    Seriously. When was the last time an elected official honestly said " fuck this shit; I quit. You can find someone else for this shit job 'cause I am outta here!"

  • UCrawford||

    Most of them only quit when they've got a lobbyist job lined up. If Reason wants to do an amusing article, they ought to do a piece tracking the post-Congress careers of politicians who left office and tried to become successful businesspersons in the (real) private sector. I'm betting it will be a lot of stories without much success...I get the impression that many Congresscritters would be pretty useless at any other job.

  • MJ||

    Sarah Palin qualifies.

  • ||

    I hope you are all getting the "Choose the Form of the Destructor" ad from Despair.com with this story.

    Best. Auto-ad. Ever.

  • db||

    I'm ordering a few. Just don't wear them near protected politicians.

  • ||

    Auto-ad?

    That is the Will Of The Destructor, preparing for it's impending arrival.

    What, you expected the sky to rip open or something? Nah. Like Supreme Entities are too stupid to see the power and accessibility afforded by advertising? Cmon.

  • db||

    During the Rectification of the Vuldrani, the Traveler took the form of a large and moving Torg! Then during the Third Rectification of the last of the McKetrick Supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many shuvs and zuuls knew what it

  • db||

    Frick.

  • np||

    Government--the legislators; basically other fucking people* with state sanctioned power--for every inch, will always take foot.

    *except obviously those very few

  • The Other Kevin||

    There is a lot of talk in Chicago about the upcoming NATO and G8 summits this summer. This new law is going to really make it interesting.

  • ||

    Civil disobedience is about disobeying. If they're serious about their cause, they should make the Man lock their asses up.

    And I'm not mocking them on this point, though I imagine I won't agree with most of the protesters. There is no VIP exception to the First Amendment.

  • The Other Kevin||

    I fully expect there to be arrests, but now there will be more, and many will involve felony charges. Plus, now the feds will have to be there in greater numbers to enforce federal law, right?

    I actually see this as another blow to OWS.

  • ||

    There's the GOP convention in Tampa coming up, too, which has sounded like it was going to be heavily protested. For what, I'm not exactly clear.

  • ||

    Where is your Dennis Kucinich now, progressives?

    Who cares? They got their Free Stuff™, right?

  • @AgoristDon||

    It's about time you guys at Reason caught up. I started screaming about this yesterday.

    First Amendment (1791-2012) R.I.P. - H.R. 347 criminalizes protest

    http://tirelessagorist.blogspo.....2-rip.html

    Imagine Adam Kokesh's Veterans for Ron Paul marching down the street outside the Republican National Convention, sounding off. "Disruptive?" You bet. "Within proximity of the restricted location?" Absolutely. There's a paddy wagon of veterans on their way to the federal lockup, right there.

  • ||

    Truly a sad day for the 1A.

  • MJ||

    Given how the Supreme Court upheld free speech protections in the Westboro Baptist case, I have no idea how this abomination would stand judicial review. That being said, there is no excuse for it even having to go to that extent.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Remember, folks:

    This is happening during a Democrat-led Presidency.

    OWN it, Team Blue. Show your true colors.

  • ||

    You have not yet reached an understanding that those who masquerade as two parties are the ones in control?

  • Nobody||

    Kill em all.

  • Bradley||

    Don't worry, I'm sure Obama the Great will veto this,

  • Mr. FIFY||

    When Team Red gets back in charge, it will be they who are to blame.

    Not that they're blameless now, mind you.
    But they don't have majority control.

  • ||

    The political elites that pick the candidates we are allowed to vote for don't want their puppets upset by us peasants. We might ask a hard question

  • Senators||

    We might ask a hard question

    Don't harsh our senatorial mellow.....

  • ||

    The author should stick to writing articles, and NOT trying to interpret law. The new law clearly

    "the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ means any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area--"

    You're not going to accidentally be in a posted, cordoned off or restricted area. If there are no restriction, no posts, no Secret Service barricades, then the law doesn't apply.

    Bunch of non lawyers trying to read a law written by lawyers and becoming utterly confused. Shocking.

  • Robert||

    What if you came in the back way and had no idea what was going on?

  • sticks||

    I can't find the language in the bill that would punish unknowing persons who accidentally enter a restricted building. any help....

    http://www.govtrack.us/congres.....l=h112-347

  • ||

    You guys want to know how stupid this author, and all the other ones are? The original law:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1752

    Everything you see is already included in the original law. All they did was move things around to make it easier to read.

    Effing stupid!

  • Bradley||

    Have you seen the portions of downtown areas that are now "cordoned off" for your average G8/G20 meeting? This is free speech zones taken to a whole level.

    Also, fuck you.

  • Free Statism||

    It'll save us. From boredom.

  • Anarcho-primitivist||

    "I just wish the big kids would play with me, mommy!"

  • Nobody||

    Its ok. That's what sniper rifles are for.

  • jt||

    the point is having paul is differences of night and day compared to having no paul. stick to the point idiots

  • jt||

    maybe you need 30 of them to flip the calender, but that doesn't diminish the importance of every single one, especially when there are only 3 at this point.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, this is what happens when good-intentioned idiots go around throwing glitter on people. There are appropriate ways to protest effectively. Glitter bombs are juvenile and ineffective – unless you think a bill like this is a good thing.

  • kelly craven||

    Drinking the Ron Paul Kool-Aid again...

    Sadly, this isn't a new law or an expansion of the law... just a simplification. All they really did was clear away some of the legalese language.

    Those who voted against it didn't do so because they were taking a stand, they did it because it might make them look good should it all erupt into controversy... and then almost certainly quickly set their proxies to stirring controversy about it.

    On the whole, it's arguably non-constitutional in the first place yet has held up in various forms since the 1970s with legal arguments for constitutionality by necessity based on the idea that radical voices would be disrupting government work rooted in the will of the majority.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1752

  • ||

    Correction; The members of the House that voted Nay were;
    Amash
    Broun (GA)
    Ellison

    Ron Paul did not vote on this.
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll073.xml

  • AJ||

    LB, the link you posted was only a procedural vote. In the final vote, Ron Paul voted against passing the bill. Ellison voted for the bill.
    http://www.opencongress.org/vote/2011/h/149

  • No.||

    No, that is wrong.

    The vote people are linking to with Ron Paul is from February 28, 2011.

    The recent vote from 2012 is Ellison, Amash and Broun. Ron Paul did not vote for the final vote in 2012.

  • ||

    Attorney's are clueless criminal morons.

  • ||

    Where is the part of the Consitution that gives the federal govt authority to create "roaming jurisdiction" 10 mile squares? This is nothing but a "bow to the emporers" law, and it is worse now, but wrong in the first instance. Any leader that is in fear of the people has too much power.

  • ||

    very well said. at the risk of sounding crude, does this new law restrict access to prior accessible areas normally used for protest, like i.e. the plaza or Washington Monument? Or mostly already restricted areas?

  • jimmy choo||

    If you buy the handbag from this secured online site, you're sure to get an authentic handbag, but you won't be able to really check out the merchandise. If you're sure you know what bag you want, go the internet way. If you want to go out,please take a moment to review the overall shape,jimmy choo shoes on sale us
    look at the bags and whether suit your clothing, if there is no problem that you can going out after,just believe that the beautiful and charisma will go hand in hand to follow you all day.

  • Bastiat_Fan||

    What is troubling is that neither Brian or the good Congressman appears to have actually read the revised law. What is quoted was part of the old law.

    The new law allows the secret service to arrest people who are OUTSIDE the secured zone, which has always included areas other than the Whitehouse grounds. The revisions are troubling because a citizen could be in an area he has every reason to believe he is allowed to be. But if that person causes too much of a ruckus, he can be arrested anyway.

  • Clara Nelson||

    Wow, one thing is certain, i never support this bill. why would anyone let the bill to Pass the House: Protests Near Secret Service Protected Folk Effectively Outlawed! i don't like this!

    http://www.omoscowonder.com

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement