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House Bill 195 — Targeted picketing

House Bill 195 — Targeted picketing

by
Parrish Miller
February 17, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 195 criminalizes free speech and protests on public property based on the protest's proximity to a private dwelling. 

Rating: -4

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

House Bill 195 creates Section 18-6411, Idaho Code, to criminalize "targeted picketing." 

The bill says, "Any person who intentionally engages in picketing or otherwise demonstrates on the street or sidewalk in front of a person's residence or dwelling place, or the adjacent residence or dwelling place, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person commits targeted picketing."

This language violates the U.S. Constitution by abridging the freedom of speech and infringing on the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and it criminalizes efforts to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

(-1)

This language further violates the Idaho State Constitution, which says, "The people shall have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; to instruct their representatives, and to petition the legislature for the redress of grievances."

(-1)

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?

House Bill 195 criminalizes efforts to hold elected officials accountable by protesting near their homes when they violate their oath of office. Annoying someone is well within the parameters of a peaceful protest. 

(-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

House Bill 195 makes it a misdemeanor to demonstrate on the street or sidewalk in front of a person's residence or dwelling place, or the adjacent residence or dwelling place, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person. 

(-1)

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