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PICO RIVERA, CA OCTOBER 4, 2012 - Walmart employees strike out side of a Walmart store in Pico Rivera, California on Thursday October 4, 2012. The employees accuse Walmart of unlawful retaliation against workers who speak out for change at the company. Th
Soon to be banned in Tennessee?
A Republican bill to criminalize union picketing has been moving through the Tennessee state House, with a committee vote coming up soon. But it may be running into a snag: Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper says the bill violates the First Amendment.
“HB1688 presents a content-based restriction upon speech. It would criminalize ‘any form of mass picketing activity in the context of a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute’,” the opinion says.

It notes the bill "includes labor-dispute-specific proscriptions on conduct that do not apply in non-labor contexts. Furthermore, the injunction provision of HB1688… would establish a different standard for business and private-property owners who are the targets of labor-related mass picketing.”

The question, of course, is whether likely unconstitutionality is enough of a reason for Tennessee Republicans to back off of limiting speech because they don't like who's speaking or what they're saying. An early response from state Rep. Jeremy Durham, the bill's sponsor, suggests he's not backing down without a fight.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks, Nashville KosKats, and Daily Kos.

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