When Kasich barred Ohio protestors from the statehouse, it only made them more determined. It was a bad move:
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration could hold demonstrators at the Capitol liable for the cost of extra police or cleanup and repairs after protests, under a new policy unveiled Thursday.
The rules, which several legal experts said raised serious free speech concerns, seemed likely to add to the controversy that has simmered all year over demonstrations in the state’s seat of government.
The policy, which also requires permits for events at the statehouse and other state buildings, took effect Thursday and will be phased in by Dec. 16. Walker administration officials contend the policy simply clarifies existing rules. State law already says public officials may issue permits for the use of state facilities, and applicants “shall be liable to the state . . . for any expense arising out of any such use and for such sum as the managing authority may charge for such use.”
But Edward Fallone, an associate professor at Marquette University Law School, said the possibility of charging demonstrators for police costs might be problematic because some groups might not be able to afford to pay. “I’m a little skeptical about charging people to express their First Amendment opinion,” he said. “You can’t really put a price tag on the First Amendment.”
Sure you can. Scott Walker just did.
It applies to groups of “four or more people” and that provision alone is going to make it worthy of derision:
Bob Dreps, a lawyer who handles First Amendment cases including work for the Journal Sentinel, noted that the state can put some restrictions on the “time, place and manner” of free speech. But he said it was “laughable” to define a rally as four or more people.
I wanted to add this really helpful info (thanks commenter kideni) from the last Wisconsin post, so now Governor Walker and his non-union thugs gave me an excuse to do that:
You may know this already, but the DPW’s Recall HQ site has a section where you can find locations of upcoming signature collecting activities, and there may be something near you. You can also download your own petitions from United Wisconsin’s site or Recall HQ and circulate them among people you know (you can sign and certify your own petition).