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How The GOP Is Legitimately Trying To Dismantle The First Amendment State By State

Though I have been accused in the past of creating somewhat "click-bait" titles, I do always try to fulfill all expectations that are set. The title of the piece today could be viewed much in the same way. The information contained herein is absolutely terrifying. I hate to kick off an article with stats and numbers, but given the urgency, I think you should know the storms that are coming your way. Given the fact that per the International Center For Not-For-Profit Law (ICNL) there are 68 pending laws being considered in 45 states that will directly impact your first Amendment rights on speech and right to protest, it isn’t a question of “when” you will be impacted, but rather to what degree you will be impacted. These legislative reaches are incomprehensible as to how they could be seen by anyone as Constitutional, but they are very real. The link to all of the legislation, their locale, and whether they are pending or active are included herein. I encourage you to see where your state lies.

It's because of these reasons that I am going to do something rarely asked by our readers (i.e. "Truthers")—a call to action. I encourage you to share this article with those who see every forthcoming piece of legislation as utterly opposite of any Constitutional values. We also ask you to reach out to your local legislators and let them know what you think (link is in the resource page for all 50 states). If you think trying to contact your congress-people is a waste of time, it is currently the best option we have before it becomes law, and then the courts can morph it into anything they want.


Written By: Anton Sawyer

In an attempt to maintain complete transparency, all research and statistical fact-checking for this article, and all articles, can be found at our site's bibliography linked here.

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As confident as I am in the fact that history repeats itself and I use those examples to guess the future of a person or party, it’s often written in hopes I will be wrong. This isn’t misdirection, but rather watching America continue its mistakes with disastrous consequences, is saddening. It seems that a prediction I made at the end of last year in the piece titled “The Republican Legislation Which Could Legalize Murder During A Riot,” is coming true.

To paraphrase: there is a piece of legislation in Utah called the “Roadway Obstruction Amendment.” It was basically the same thing as “Stand Your Ground Laws” in many states, but instead of a gun, it’s an automobile during a riot. It’s based on someone fearing for their life if a riot is near—and the definition of a riot has been relaxed—and need to flee with their car to escape unharmed. My assertion was that given how GOP followers like the McClusky’s were given the royal treatment after threatening peaceful protestors with guns, it was possible this legislative idea would catch on nationwide, and how it would be a terrible idea. Seeing how I let the cat out of the bag in the first paragraph of what’s currently happening, it, unfortunately, is coming true. However, when you jump into this rabbit hole of the potential end-game, it’s setting up for a potentially violent showdown.

Across the US, every Republican legislator is putting up some kind of law that will either relax the terminology used for what is defined as a riot, all the way to someone being beaten by a police officer could receive a misdemeanor due to a law that’s essentially making taunting illegal. 45 states have enacted some kind of legislation, with 68 pending bills still awaiting approval.

American Flag in Protest

These range from SB 912/HB 3652 in Texas where it “Would require a person convicted of participation in a “riot” to pay restitution for “any damage to or loss” of property by reimbursing the property owner. The bill does not limit the restitution to damage directly caused by the defendant. As a result, a peaceful protester could be forced to pay to replace or restore property that was damaged by someone else in a large protest that authorities deemed a “riot.” To the laws passing the State Senate in Kentucky to where taunting a police officer could result in a misdemeanor charge. It states, anyone who “accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response.” Offenders could face up to 90 days in jail and fines, and the proposal also would have increased penalties for rioting. One of the most egregious pieces of legislation that is rife with Constitutional violations is from Oklahoma and its HB 1822. This is going to make it illegal to have a protest, including peacefully, in restricted areas near the capital itself. It places new restrictions “on ‘all demonstrations or events’ in and around the buildings and grounds that make up Oklahoma’s State Capitol Park complex, including the Capitol building itself. Within that zone, the bill prohibits ‘assembling’ or ‘congregating’ in a way that ‘obstruct[s]” sidewalks, walkways, or entrances or exits to buildings.’” Protesting at the capital of one's home state is a time-honored American tradition that the founding fathers knew was essential in helping the voices of the common man be heard. Throughout American history, you can see people who may have lived on the other side of a state making a pilgrimage to the capital because of a protest they wanted to be a part of. Feeling like your voice can be heard, both literally and figuratively, by those who have the ability to directly impact almost every aspect of your existence is essential to democracy. Yet, it seems that this systematic dismantling of the groundwork for our nation has taken hold with the Republican lawmakers en masse. Sadly, it gets worse.

In 2016, weeks before ex-President Donald Trump’s win, more than 100 state lawmakers gathered in Williamsburg, Virginia to ratify six new state Constitutional Amendments. These included imposing term limits on members of Congress, abolishing the federal income tax, and placed severe limits on the federal government’s ability to levy taxes, implement new regulations or spend money. This is in keeping with the goals of certain lawmakers who have been coming together in organizations like the Convention of States Project, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), who have helped their influence in 15 states to pass resolutions that call for a new Constitutional Convention.

If you are a consistent reader of the site, you know that I have espoused a Constitutional Convention for a long time. The founding fathers knew it needed to be done when both societal and technological advancements would make many of the original text obsolete. You would think that I would then support the plans of these groups. This is a case of “right thing, wrong reason.” It’s when you search through and see that the reasoning for this isn’t to attempt to build bridges, but rather destroy all of them.

The founder of the Convention States Project is Mark Meckler, who was a former Tea Party Patriots founder. With his guidance, lawmakers proposed 42 Convention of State resolutions in at least 24 new states. If these pass, and ultimately get the support of 34 states, then it would enact the provision in Article V of the constitution that would allow for the convention. This also bolsters the fact that I have said the 2022 mid-terms will be the most decisive as to where both parties stand on their core issues. Per Georgetown University law professor David Super, “I think if [Republicans] win the midterm elections if they take the House and Senate, they will try to call an Article V convention immediately. It’s not a foregone conclusion that the simple Republican majority would get there, but if they get big majorities, I think they’ll try.” In another interview, he made it known that “a constitutional convention would be a Brexit-scale crisis for the US.” The reasoning is the ability to convince their base to believe outright lies, along with those behind the scenes.

Former Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has made some of his intentions pretty clear when it comes to influencing where the convention would go. From the ability to sue the government, to balanced budget proposals which would drastically negatively impact the lower classes. Also, there is such a lack of self-awareness on the part of the conservative party, that you could see them trying to do truly horrific things because ALL civil rights would be on the table. It wouldn’t be completely impossible to think that they would propose an amendment that would allow for the freedom to believe in one Christian denomination. The thinking would be that you could follow whatever faith you wanted in your home, but given the one belief is written in stone, all laws stemming from this would be written in such a way as to help the moral decline of the US. Because of course we can’t be taken seriously as a nation on the world stage as a moral leader if we deny the teachings of Jesus. To them, they would honestly see that they are going to help people … whether they like it or not. This does give me pause about the potential of a Constitutional Convention. Jefferson wrote about how the courts, with lifetime appointments, would warp the original intentions of the American cornerstone document. That when you give someone power for life, with no accountability, then where do they put the boundaries? Though I do still think there is a need for us to update the Constitution, these arguments from law professors do bring a warning.

Since January 6th of 2021, we have seen the identities of those who stormed the nation’s capital change day to day. First, they were plants. Then they were Antifa and BLM in MAGA gear. Then the people were upset when the police officer was acquitted of shooting the protestor because she supported Trump. There’s no authenticity to their core. If this is the case, then yes, it could all lead to disastrous outcomes. And looking at the possibility of the convention’s outcome is something to keep on the radar, but right now, there are very real laws that could dismantle many of our freedoms happening today. This we can speculate on and change.

You always hear about these “slippery slopes” of laws that could be severely damaging down the road. The best example of this would be when ANY piece of gun legislation brought about by the liberal side is going to immediately remove the Second Amendment and the National Guard will be over by dinner-time to take all your weapons. Because they don’t understand the nuances of laws, it’s easy to dupe them. Everything I have written about is real. These laws do have consequences, and Americans (especially Truthers) need to pay attention as these are the exact slopes we’ve heard so much about that need to be stopped.

The Indie Truther

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