Scott Walker's New Rules to Curtail Assembly Rights Would Make Wisconsin Less Free Than Brunei
Michael Moore noticed that some people in the Greatest Country The World has Ever Known might be needing a whiff 'o freedom for themselves. It seems that Governor Scott Walker is putting place some "new rules" as to how and when citizens can exercise the 1st Amendment"
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, these are some of the new policies:
Groups of four or more people must obtain permits for all activity and displays in state buildings and apply for those permits at least 72 hours in advance. The policy requires permits for 100 or more people outside the Capitol. The policy does provide some leeway for spontaneous gatherings triggered by unforeseen events.
That's big of him.
Perhaps you think that's not a big deal? Well, let's just say it's a good thing this isn't happening in another country or we might have to issue a travel alert.
The Journal-Sentinel quotes several experts on the First Amendment who are skeptical that Walker's new polices are constitutional. This should not be surprising, since in some respects they are more onerous than those in Brunei -- which is ruled by a literal Sultan and has been under martial law since 1962. Nevertheless, even though some aspects of the freedom to assemble are less restricted in Brunei than in Wisconsin, the State Department's 2010 Human Rights Report criticizes the Sultanate for its polices:
Under the emergency powers, the government significantly restricted the right to assemble. According to the Societies Order, public gatherings of 10 or more persons require a government permit, and police have the authority to stop an unofficial assembly of five or more persons deemed likely to cause a disturbance of the peace.
But then we're very, very exceptional so those rules could never apply to us.