ABATE’s letter to Legislators reads: “Any government agent denying an individual access to Senate Chambers because they are wearing motorcycle club colors is a clear violation of speech, association and due process rights protected by the US Constitution. Motorcycle club colors are First Amendment protected expression and wearing motorcycle club colors is considered expressive conduct, particularly when that expression is political.”
Bree Walker, representing ABATE of Idaho, reported to the MPP that she talked with the Capitol Security Oﬃcer that denied MC members wearing colors access on March 4th and confirmed that the Idaho Senate Sergeant at Arms; Sarah Jane McDonald, firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 332-1400, was responsible for giving the order.
“Motorcycle profiling and discrimination have literally followed motorcyclists inside the Idaho State Capitol, a place where freedom of expression in a free society is supposed to be paramount, while participating in the democratic process to address issues of profiling and discrimination. Unfortunately, S 1109, a simple measure codifying Constitutional principles, fell one floor vote shy of passing.”
“Denying access to individuals because they are wearing motorcycle club colors exposes the government oﬃcials involved to potential civil liability under 42 USC Section 1983 for violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Cease and Desist Request
ABATE of Idaho sent a letter to all state Senators and Representatives requesting “that the Idaho Senate, House of Representatives, and all law enforcement and other personnel involved with Capitol security, take whatever action necessary to guarantee that such unconstitutional acts of discrimination targeting those wearing motorcycle club colors at the Idaho Capitol immediately ceases.”
There is nothing in the Senate Rules that would prohibit motorcycle club colors. That’s freedom of expression. Why would there be?
It appears that evidence of motorcycle profiling in Idaho can no longer be denied.
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