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Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:53 PM

Opposition to H.R 347 being pushed by the RW and Ron Paul supporters

Stormfront:

H.R. 347: Another Step in the Elimination of the First Amendment

Kurt Nimmo | It is now a felony to get anywhere near Obama or Congress and voice your opposition to the government.


Alex Jones' Infowars: H.R. 347: Another Step in the Elimination of the First Amendment

Reason:

In case you question the value of having a Justin Amash or a Ron Paul in the House of Representatives, they were two of only three votes against H.R. 347, the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011."

As reprinted in this angry Salon blog post, Rep. Amash's reasons for objecting:

a more truthful moniker for HR 347 would be the "First Amendment Rights Eradication Act". As Representative Amash lamented on his Facebook page:

"Current law makes it illegal to enter or remain in an area where certain government officials (more particularly, those with Secret Service protection) will be visiting temporarily if and only if the person knows it's illegal to enter the restricted area but does so anyway. expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it's illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it's illegal... show you the extent to which the public is misled and misinformed about the legislation we are voting on, read one prominent media outlet's coverage of the same bill: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/212873-house-approves-white-house-trespass-bill-sends-to-obama The report mischaracterizes not only current law but also the changes proposed by the bill."

Full text of the bill, which includes all its penalties for attempting or conspiring to do the forbidden disruption as well. Those penalties are:

<...>

The vote tally of shame. Where is your Dennis Kucinich now, progressives?

http://reason.com/blog/2012/03/01/bill-passes-house-protests-near-secret-s

Evidently, these people need a reason to be able to get close the President and Vice President.

The text of the bill is posted here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002385100

You can read more about the legislatin here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:H.R.347:

The bill passed the House in 2010 and was re-introduced in January 2011.

H.R.347
Latest Title: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep Rooney, Thomas J. (introduced 1/19/2011) Cosponsors (1)
Related Bills:S.1794
Latest Major Action: 3/1/2012 Presented to President.
House Reports: 112-9
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jump to: Summary, Major Actions, All Actions, Titles, Cosponsors, Committees, Related Bill Details, Amendments

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY AS OF:
2/6/2012--Passed Senate amended. (There are 4 other summaries)


(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on November 17, 2011. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 - Amends the federal criminal code to revise the prohibition against entering restricted federal buildings or grounds to impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly enters any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Defines "restricted buildings or grounds" as a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of: (1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President's official residence or its grounds, (2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or (3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAJOR ACTIONS:

1/19/2011

Introduced in House

2/11/2011

Reported by the Committee on Judiciary. H. Rept. 112-9.

2/28/2011

Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 399 - 3 (Roll no. 149).

11/17/2011

Committee on the Judiciary. Reported by Senator Leahy with an amendment in the nature of a substitute. Without written report.

2/6/2012

Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.

2/27/2012

Resolving differences -- House actions: On motion that the House suspend the rules and agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 388 - 3 (Roll no. 73).

3/1/2012

Presented to President.


BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION
The United States Secret Service provides protective services to the President, the First Family, the Vice President, former Presidents, visiting heads of state, and others. This protection covers not only the White House and its grounds but also any where a protectee may be temporarily visiting. The Secret Service also provides protection at events designated as `a special event of national significance.'

Current law prohibits unlawful entries upon any restricted building or ground where the President, Vice President or other protectee is temporarily visiting. However, there is no Federal law that expressly prohibits unlawful entry to the White House and its grounds or the Vice President's residence and its grounds.

The Secret Service must therefore rely upon a provision in the District of Columbia Code, which addresses only minor misdemeanor infractions, when someone attempts to or successfully trespasses upon the grounds of the White House or Vice President's residence or, worse, breaches the White House or Vice President's residence itself.

H.R. 347 remedies this problem by specifically including the White House, the Vice President's residence, and their respective grounds in the definition of restricted buildings and grounds for purposes of Section 1752.

The bill also clarifies that the penalties in Section 1752 of title 18 apply to those who knowingly enter or remain in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so. Current law does not include this important element. The bill makes other technical improvements to the existing law. In the 111th Congress, the House approved similar legislation (H.R. 2780) by voice vote on July 27, 2010.


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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Opposition to H.R 347 being pushed by the RW and Ron Paul supporters (Original post)
ProSense Mar 2012 OP
FSogol Mar 2012 #1
SidDithers Mar 2012 #4
FSogol Mar 2012 #5
Drunken Irishman Mar 2012 #27
sufrommich Mar 2012 #2
GeorgeGist Mar 2012 #3
SidDithers Mar 2012 #6
onenote Mar 2012 #13
ProSense Mar 2012 #25
surfdog Mar 2012 #7
woo me with science Mar 2012 #8
SidDithers Mar 2012 #9
G_j Mar 2012 #10
ProSense Mar 2012 #15
onenote Mar 2012 #16
limpyhobbler Mar 2012 #20
onenote Mar 2012 #21
limpyhobbler Mar 2012 #26
mmonk Mar 2012 #11
Lawlbringer Mar 2012 #12
Cleita Mar 2012 #14
onenote Mar 2012 #17
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #18
ProSense Mar 2012 #19
Tierra_y_Libertad Mar 2012 #22
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #24
librechik Mar 2012 #23
shark_attackk Mar 2012 #28
onenote Mar 2012 #29
Itchinjim Apr 2012 #30

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:57 PM

1. It is being pushed pretty hard by the "both parties are the same" crowd here on DU too.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:07 PM

4. +1...

Fact-based DUers were just called "authoritarian boot-lickers" on another thread about this.

Can't wait for official election season 'round here.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:08 PM

5. "Can't wait for official election season 'round here." - Same here.

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 07:37 PM

27. FASCIST!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:58 PM

2. Yes it is, he's using this old law to raise funds. nt

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:10 PM

6. You just proved the OP's point...

http://reason.com/archives/2012/01/30/the-peacenik-republican

The author you're linking to, Lucy Steigerwald, is another fan of Ron Paul.

Sid

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:21 PM

13. Typical teabagger legal analysis

The crux of the teabagger (that would be Rep. Amash) argument is as follows:

"Current law makes it illegal to enter or remain in an area where certain government officials (more particularly, those with Secret Service protection) will be visiting temporarily if and only if the person knows it's illegal to enter the restricted area but does so anyway. The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know it's illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect it's illegal. (It expands the law by changing "willfully and knowingly" to just "knowingly" with respect to the mental state required to be charged with a crime.)"

Only one problem. The revised law didn't just drop "willfully". It added "without lawful authority." The combination of "knowingly" and "without lawful authority" means that if you go into an restricted area you can be convicted if you have knowledge that you've entered the area AND knowledge that you don't have the lawful authority to be there.

Indeed, the legislative history underlying the legislation points to the addition of "without lawful authority" language as the addition of an important element to the offense defined in this section of the bill.


I can't say I'm surprised by Amash's misguided legal analysis. Its pretty typical of the teabagger crowd to come to a conclusion and then stretch and misstate the law to support that conclusion. (See, for example, the teabagger crowd's legal gymnastics on the birther issue).

I am surprised, and a bit sad, to see teabagger legal analysis cited here on DU, however.

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Response to onenote (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 05:44 PM

25. It's what they do. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:13 PM

7. being pushed by Ron Paul supporters and .....

 

Trolls on the DU

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:15 PM

8. The faux freakout over Ron Paul is a symptom of malignancy in our party.

The faux freakout over Ron Paul
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002154246



How sick is our party, when Ron Paul, an extreme libertarian, is considered this much of a threat even though he will never have a chance in hell of winning the nomination or getting anywhere *near* the White House. He is considered a threat only because our party is desperately sick. He is considered a threat because he actually speaks out about a few core issues of civil rights and corporate warmongering on which the corporate Democratic candidate has been a complete and utter sell-out.

It is a pathetic, unconscionable shame that the only candidate for President who is raising these issues happens also to be an extreme libertarian who would slash safety nets and abolish critical government functions up to and including the Department of Education. Good fucking god.

But SOMEONE needs to raise these issues, because the two bought-and-paid-for major parties seem hell-bent on sweeping them under the rug and enabling the march toward corporate fascism that we are now living.

The hypocrisy around here positively reeks. Those continually making excuses for this President would be screaming bloody murder at the same policies coming out of a Republican administration. But now they defend these abominations and try to smear those who express alarm as supporters of libertarianism. What utter horseshit.

When your candidate has sold out and betrayed the voters on so many critical issues, time after time after time, it appears the only strategy left is to try to trash everyone who points out this embarrassing fact. This year, that adds up to almost constant attempts at trashing...not only candidates of other parties, but also longstanding principled Democrats who have the conviction to speak out about what has happened to our party and our government.

What a mess this party is in. What a mess our country is in, a deadly serious, malignant mess of corporate greed and corruption, barreling toward corporate fascism. We are losing our country, our civil rights, and our futures, and that is not an exaggeration. We NEED to occupy now. We need to get the damned money out of the electoral system, so we can have a candidate who represents US again, rather than the corporate profiteers and the warmongers.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:18 PM

9. Ron Paul support isn't a threat to the Democratic Party...

but that doesn't mean it should be allowed at Democratic Underground.

Sid

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:19 PM

10. ACLU Sacramento, AlterNet and others


83. ACLU Sacramento and others roporting on this

Last edited Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:15 PM USA/ET - Edit history (1)

Goodbye, First Amendment: House Bill HR 347 will make protest illegal

http://www.aclusac.org/node/423

~~~~~~~~~~

Congress Votes to End Protest | AlterNet

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/.../congress_votes_to_end_protest/

~~~~~~~~~~

News Articles for H.R.347: Federal Restricted Buildings and

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h347/

Now known as the “anti-Occupy law,” H.R. 347 makes it a federal offense to “ enter or remain” in an area designated as “restricted.” As RT.com (via the ACLU ...

~~~~~~~~~~

H.R 347 could be making the First Amendment illegal.

http://www.examiner.com/progressive-in-philadelphia/h-r-347-could-be-making-the-first-amendment-illegal

(just a sampling)

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Response to G_j (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:29 PM

15. That is not

the ACLU (it's a member blog linking to this article: http://rt.com/usa/news/348-act-tresspass-buildings-437/). Even if it was, the organization is filled with people who align themselves with Paul.

The fact is that the frame is being pushed by the RW, the two Republicans voted against it, and Ron Paul supporters. They originated the distortion.

It's the RW's new "terror alert" and the RW/Ron Paul alliance is hyping this with massive spin.

I mean, why the hell are they trying to frame a bill updated in 2010 as deliberately "anti-Occupy" when it has nothing to do with protestors and is very specific to the President and Vice President?

I mean, Kucinich and Sanders and the entire Democratic caucus is under suspicion because a couple of Republicans and Ron Paul supporters are pushing ridiculous spin.

"Goodbye, First Amendment: House Bill HR 347 will make protest illegal"

Ludicrous!

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Response to G_j (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:29 PM

16. oh boy. a bunch of links to cites that uncritically repeat or quote a russian times article

Very convincing. I like the part that says "HR 347 makes it a federal offense to "enter or remain "in an area designated as "restricted.""

One problem, HR 347 can't make something a federal offense that already is a federal offense. What it does is restate the existing law in the context of amending that law to include the WH and VP's residence within protected areas.

A question for those that buy the Ron Paul/Teabagger spin on this: what do you think the effect of defeating HR 347 would be? Would it no longer be illegal to enter or remain in an area designated as restricted?

If you answered yes, you're wrong and you need to learn something about the legislative process -- namely that when you defeat an amendment to an existing law, the existing law doesn't go away or change. It stays just the way it was before the amendment was presented for a vote.

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Response to G_j (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:59 PM

20. Thanks for the links. I've done a few searches looking for coverage from the left

on this issue. But I have to say I have to really scrape to find anything.

I did see that Young Turks covered it and was against it.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101714968

Also there was this guest blogger on Jonathan Turley's website:
http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/03/imprecise-language-and-the-risks-of-h-r-347

But I don't know who the author is or what he is about.

I'm thrown off by the fact that most of the politicians and media voices I usually look to for cues are not talking about it.
That includes the most progressive members of congress.

I checked the national ACLU.org and they have nothing on it that I can find.

Democracy Now had no coverage that I could find. If Amy Goodman would do a segment on this it could really help me figure it out.

I'm finding it difficult to maintain a sense of outrage over this when the main people outraged seem to be Ron Paul people and far right people.

The lefty media has been almost totally quiet on the issue. Maybe someone will take up the issue, but for the time being there isn't much to latch on to.



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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #20)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:09 PM

21. The blogger on Turley's site is incompetent

For starters, Mr. Howington claims that a comparison of HR 347 to the "current law" reveals that HR 347 "expand(s) the meaning of the term ‘restricted buildings or grounds’ to mean virtually any place in proximity to or place proper a government function or an “event of national interest” is taking place. "

One problem: the version of 18 USC 1752 on which Mr. Howington based his analysis and that he "quotes" in his blog post is not the current version. Its a version that dates back to the mid-1990s. Here is a link to the current version. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1752

Subsection (a)(2) of the current law uses the following words to describe one of the categories of restricted areas covered by the law: "any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance". That is exactly the same language as used in Subsection (c)(1)(C) of the law as amended by HR 347.

In other words the big change in the law that Howington cites is worked by HR 347 is only a change to someone who lacks the basic legal research skills to find the current law. In my experience, citing an old law and claiming its the current law is big fail both in law school and in court. Its downright embarrassing, actually.

As for the rest of Mr. Howington's analysis, it also doesn't hold up to scrutiny. He is right that the current law drops the word "willfully" from the "disorderly conduct" provision of 18 USC 1752. The current law (the one he doesn't cite or quote) reads as follows:

(3) willfully, knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, to engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any building or grounds described in paragraph (1) or (2) when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

And this is the language of HR 347:
(2) knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engages in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions;

In legal parlance "willfully" and "knowingly" have different meanings -- willfully requires that the actor have more than mere knowledge of the acts they are committing, but that they also have intent. Of course, that explains why the revised version drops "willfully" -- it already requires a showing of intent and the inclusion of "willfully" was unnecessarily redundant. (While Howington doesn't discuss the "enters and remains" provision of 18 USC 1752 as amended by HR 347, I will note that it contained a reference to "intent" but did require "willful" conduct. The willful is gone, but in its place is a new, express requirement that the accused have entered/remained in the restricted area "without lawful authority." Combined with "knowingly" that provision means that the government now has to prove that you knew you were entering/remaining in the place where you were AND that you knew you were there without lawful authority.)

Finally, Howington italicizes the words "or so that, such conduct, in fact" in the above quoted portion of HR 347 and argues that the inclusion of those words somehow negates the intent requirement. Of course, those words also are in the current version and if they negate the word "intent" they also negate "willfully". Except, of course, those words don't negate a damn thing. The law as written (both current and the revised version in HR 347) requires prosecutors to show not only that the accused had an intent to impede or disrupt in engaging in certain conduct but also that such conduct in fact did impede or disrupt. Requiring both intent and an actual result is hardly unusual in the law. Indeed, its pretty much standard as any half-decent lawyer would know.

Frankly, I wasn't particularly surprised at how pathetic Mr. Howington's analysis was. The giveaway was when he referenced Rep. Justin Amash. Amash is a notorious teabagger member of Congress from Michigan. Maybe some people respect the legal analytical skills of the tea baggers (which include some of those wonderful birthers whose legal gymnastics have kept us entertained for the past few years). But in my experience, the tea baggers legal interpretations rarely are correct -- rather they reach a conclusion that they want to reach and proceed to make up arguments and misstate the law to fit their conclusion. That's what Howington has done and I'm just sorry that some people are getting fooled by it.

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Response to onenote (Reply #21)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 06:44 PM

26. Thanks for that response. May I ask which information sources you are using to get information about

May I ask which information sources you are using to get information about this law?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:20 PM

11. I wouldn't go there.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:21 PM

12. Alex Jones is a fearmonger

and a generally horrible human being. Whether he believes his own nonsense or not, he spreads fear and profits off of it. I don't even like to THINK his name, lest I go into a rage.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:25 PM

14. A broken clock is right twice a day.

In this I agree with them. There should be no laws regarding this except those that are already on the books.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:30 PM

17. So you would leave 18 USC 1752 as it is today an would not add the WH and VP's residence

to the definition of a restricted zone?

Because that is exactly what you just advocated. Everything that is in HR 347 except the WH/VP piece already is law.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:31 PM

18. It was already on the books, 1971 if you call that on the books

All this did was add the White House and the VP residence (grounds) to the law.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:32 PM

19. Well

"A broken clock is right twice a day."

...at least you recognize that the source is a "broken clock."

Still, the spin is fact-free, idiotic and chronologically defective.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:15 PM

22. Sure. The ACLU is a well known Right Wing organization.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #22)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:42 PM

24. The ACLU is not pushing it

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:20 PM

23. It could be argued that arrest and incarceration only glamorizes protests

turning the protestors into martyrs.

In any case in the US there has always been a price for protesting in this so-called free country. We who protest must be aware that there is a risk, there might be a heavy price to pay, and we don't do it lightly.

And, with idiotic and dangerous re-iterations of snatching away our civil rights like this, it will make the anger in the country even stronger. Go ahead. Make our day, Feds.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:03 PM

28. Petition to uphold our right to petition our grievences

HR 347 acts in direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Protect the Constitution. Protect our rights. Please sign this petition asking President Obama to veto the bill.

http://wh.gov/9r0

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Response to shark_attackk (Reply #28)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 11:04 PM

29. I take it you don't understand what the effect of a veto would be

The effect of a veto would be to leave the existing 18 USC 1752 in place. The only thing as a matter of practical effect a veto would do is leave the WH and VP's residence unprotected by 18 USC 1752.

As for your constitutional argument, the law is clearly not unconstitutional on its face unless, of course, you think putting locks on the doors of government buildings unconstitutionally restricts your right to roam free throughout those buildings. Could there be instances where 18 USC 1752 would be unconstitutional "as applied"? Absolutely, but so far that hasn't happened.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2012, 04:52 PM

30. Hi Dave!

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