Last week the Arizona State Senate passed SB1142 in an attempt to extend the state’s racketeering laws to include protest organizers. You read that right. Republicans are always willing to try to set fire to our Constitutional rights until someone calls them on it. The good news is that yesterday the Arizona House of Representatives Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-AZ) explained that he and the Arizona Republican Party are going to pretend like this never happened.
House Speaker J.D. Mesnard has confirmed that he does not plan to consider the bill, which means that it won't move forward in the legislature.
“I haven’t studied the issue or the bill itself, but the simple reality is that it created a lot of consternation about what the bill was trying to do,” Mesnard told New Times. “People believed it was going to infringe on really fundamental rights. The best way to deal with that was to put it to bed."
With the #Resistance movement in full swing since Donald Trump and his roving band of billionaire white supremacists oozed into office by negative 3,000,000 votes, Republicans everywhere have been trying to figure out ways to make protesting illegal—so they can pretend those voices don’t exist. There are already laws against rioting and destroying property and committing violent acts, Republicans are hoping to turn anyone in opposition to their oligarchical minority into an enemy of the state. It’s happened before and it will happen again, so we will continue to fight and rejoice at these small victories when we can.