If you read the local news online or in actual hard form, one of the most highlighted stories we saw last month was about SB 1142, which was quickly struck down by the Arizona House of Representatives before it could fully come to fruition.
If you have no clue what SB 1142 was, or if you don’t know all too much about it, here is a brief summary of what the bill entailed…
According to the Constitution, people have the right to freedom of speech, which inevitably includes the right to a peaceful protest of ideas, figures, laws, etc. With protests happening nearly every day now, conservative lawmakers sought to curtail the efforts of protesters by making them “illegal.” Under SB 1142, protests in Arizona would have been illegal if protests turned violent, or if they appeared that they would turn violent.
If you know what the law is in Arizona, you would already know that rioting and violent protesting is illegal. However, SB 1142 would have taken that further to include protesters being arrested and made liable for their actions. Not only that, but if they were found at a protest, and if they were organizing said protest that “could have” turned violent, their assets would have been seized by the state- including their homes, vehicles, and other possessions.
Many thought this was a drastic overreach of power, in addition to these measures being wholly unconstitutional. While many conservative lawmakers supported the bill, there were also a good number who were against it.
Fortunately, no one’s First Amendment rights are going to be violated, as this was struck down in a bi-partisan effort in the Arizona House of Representatives.
The freedom to organize and protest is an inherent right granted by the Constitution, which will always take precedence over any state law.