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Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:57 PM

Go read the bill and the law it changed. (HR347)

There are a lot of people saying a lot of things regarding this. From the threads I have read, very few posters have read either section 1752 of Title 18, USC or the contents of HR 347, which amends that section. This is what was voted on, and it doesn't say what people are saying it said. You can read it all for yourself and understand what's being discussed.

Go read the law:

Here's Title 18, USC, Section 1752, which was the only thing changed by this bill. This link has the law as it was before it was modified by HR 347:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1752

Here's HR 347, which changes part of Section 1752:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr347enr/pdf/BILLS-112hr347enr.pdf

That is what the bill did, and that's all it did. You can read it, too. It's short and pretty simple, as far as laws and bills go. I highly recommend it.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Go read the bill and the law it changed. (HR347) (Original post)
MineralMan Mar 2012 OP
FSogol Mar 2012 #1
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #2
MineralMan Mar 2012 #3
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #4
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #7
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #8
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #11
zipplewrath Mar 2012 #13
onenote Mar 2012 #20
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #21
snooper2 Mar 2012 #5
MineralMan Mar 2012 #18
blue neen Mar 2012 #6
MineralMan Mar 2012 #19
blue neen Mar 2012 #24
limpyhobbler Mar 2012 #9
SunsetDreams Mar 2012 #12
mmonk Mar 2012 #17
SidDithers Mar 2012 #15
treestar Mar 2012 #10
MineralMan Mar 2012 #16
mmonk Mar 2012 #14
MineralMan Mar 2012 #22
Leftist Agitator Mar 2012 #23

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 02:59 PM

1. K & R. n/t

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:04 PM

2. Shined the manure

You're right, all it did was to shine the manure. It was a questionable law to begin with, and now we have a Democratic presidents signature on it.

CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!!!!!!!


You've posted quite a bit on this do nothing law. Is there something specific that bothers you so much about the criticism?

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:07 PM

3. The bill and the law speak for themselves.

See for yourself. All else is commentary. I'm not going to make any further commentary. Here is the law.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:09 PM

4. Yes they do

And it is as bad as ever.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:15 PM

7. Yes it's "bad" to add the Whitehouse and VP Residence to the definiton

in a 1971 Law. I've never had the desire to go behind a section cordoned off by the Secret Service.

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Response to SunsetDreams (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:19 PM

8. And the grounds

The extent of those areas is unspecific and includes "the grounds". This law can be used to move them as far away from those areas, and others, as they wish. The law already extended them too much power. Now it has a democratic presidents signature on this. Change we can believe in.

Remember, there is no power we've given the government that they have not abused.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:22 PM

11. oh my "the grounds" that's just "bad"

Again, I've never had the desire to go behind a section cordoned off by the secret service.

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Response to SunsetDreams (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:33 PM

13. I'm confused, are we into commentary now?

I'm suppose to care whether you've ever wanted to protest on the wrong side of a SS line?

The grounds can extend as far as they desire. The can, and do, use this to push folks back from in front of the White House. They closed off that street for a reason. You can now be pushed well back into Lafayette park. Bush used this law, amongst others, to take people well away from where ever he was. They used it to control the "optics".

It's a really bad law. And it's been on the books since '71 but somehow Nixon's version suddenly wasn't complete enough and had to be perfected by Obama. Probably because they've had so much trouble controling the White House and VP buildings and grounds. That occupy the Rose Garden movement had become such a terrible problem.

Change we can believe in.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:49 PM

20. Or maybe it was because after the Salahi's pulled their gate crashing stunt

Folks focused on the fact that had that dinner been held at a hotel in an area cordoned off from public access, the Salahi's unauthorized presence within the secured area would have been a federal crime under 18 USC 1752 but that it wasn't a crime for them to crash an event AT the White House. So that loophole is being closed.

Oh, the horrors!!

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:51 PM

21. No I'm just into reading the actual law

and not the commentary, misinformation, and outright hyperbole surrounding it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:10 PM

5. You expect people to read?



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Response to snooper2 (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:46 PM

18. No, actually, I don't.

Some will, though, if the links are put in front of them. That's why I started this OP. The links are there. Those who wish to can easily access the actual law and bill. Those who do not do not wish to see the facts, but would rather listen to someone else tell them what they should think. I have little patience for such people, to be quite frank.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:13 PM

6. I received an e-mail about this law yesterday from a Republican acquaintance.

This person used all the Republican talking points that we've been seeing posted here on DU the past few days.

They then linked to a right-wing source.

Go figure, huh?

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Response to blue neen (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:48 PM

19. And yet, this was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate,

and voted for by every single Democrat in the house. Dennis Kucinich voted for it. Al Franken voted for it. Every last Democrat in Congress voted for it. Somehow, that doesn't sound like a right wing thing.

Most Republicans voted for it, too. Ron Paul didn't, which tells me most of what I need to know.

Fuck Ron Paul...

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 06:28 PM

24. That's it.

Every time this particular Repub sends me an e-mail, I know the truth is the opposite of what the e-mail says.

Fuck Ron Paul...and his fake eyebrows, too!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:19 PM

9. What's the legal difference between "willfully and knowingly" vs. just "knowingly" ?

Why did that change need to be made in the law?
And what is the effect of this change?

Anybody know?
If so how do you know?

Thanks in advance.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:24 PM

12. Perhaps that's because Willful and Intent

have been held to be synonymous in jurisdictions. Maybe you missed the intent part still there.

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Response to SunsetDreams (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:45 PM

17. It will depend on how it is enforced.

The big difference is the change of dropping willfully. Willfully and knowingly are different standards.

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #9)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:41 PM

15. It's now "knowingly" and "without lawful authority"...

not just "knowingly".

Sid

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:20 PM

10. This is about the 50th time there have been people trying to get others

adamantly opposed to a bill by misrepresenting it! Thanks to you and all who bring the facts in.

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Response to treestar (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:43 PM

16. Whenever someone posts something on DU about a bill or law,

my first thought is to go and read the actual bill or law. I don't always do that, due to time issues, but that's my strategy. I go, read, then read commentary. Very often, the commentary has little to do with what the reality is. I think some opinion writers count on the fact that most people won't bother to go look at the actual source material.

I believe that, from now on, whenever there's a controversy of opinion about something like this, I will simply go, find the source material, and link to it after I read it. That seems like the responsible thing to do, I think.

This particular bill is unusual, in that it is very short and very simple, and the changes it makes can be understood by anyone in just a few minutes of reading.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 03:38 PM

14. Here is the change and explained difference in court.

"So how important is the elimination of the “willfully” requirement? The answer will depend on how the revised statute is enforced, but, on first glance, the change is not obviously trivial. “Willfully” generally requires more than “knowingly.” As the Supreme Court once put it, in order convict under the “willfully” standard, a jury “must find that the defendant acted with an evil-meaning mind, that is to say, that he acted with knowledge that his conduct was unlawful.” Contrast this with the “knowingly” standard, which only “requires proof of knowledge of the facts that constitute the offense,” unless a statute’s text dictates otherwise – and H.R. 347’s text certainly doesn’t dictate otherwise. Also remember that many people – foreign leaders, vice presidential and presidential candidates, and so on – sometimes can qualify for Secret Service protection. In an election year, that can mean a lot of areas restricted on account of official visits, and thus a lot more opportunities for citizens to wander, deliberately or not, into temporarily restricted places."

http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/03/on-the-federal-restricted-buildings-and-grounds-improvement-act-of-2011/

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Response to mmonk (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 04:05 PM

22. From my own experience, it's pretty hard to miss an area

that has been cordoned off or restricted by the Secret Service. Pretty hard, indeed. I've been to many events where a President has appeared, and the areas you can't enter are not only well-marked, but have armed people there to let you know you can't enter. If you are authorized to enter, you'll have documentation of that authorization, which will be carefully examined. If the President is going to be there, and I imagine anyone else who has Secret Service protection, it won't be hard to locate the places you can't go, and avoid going there.

I've been inside the White House, too, on one of those public tours. The security screening is thorough and there's no chance you'll wander off away from your tour group. Armed security is easy to spot, as well.

This law does not prevent normal activities in any way. It does not prohibit protests. What it does, and all it does, is make it illegal to enter a zone of protection around those who are protected by the Secret Service without authorization. I don't know, but I've never been tempted to do that, and I've marched in front of the White House carrying a sign. We were told to stay away from the grounds and even the fence around the grounds. We did that, but we still protested.

The Secret Service is very good at what it does, and specifying restricted zones, seeing that they are properly marked and staffed is on of those things. You won't mistakenly enter such a restricted zone, I assure you. You'll see it, and you'll know that crossing that line will get you arrested. If you want to be arrested, you can attempt to enter. You won't enter, but you will be arrested.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 05:16 PM

23. Well, I do see one thing that jumps out at me.

 

Here's what the original law stated:

"(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or group of persons—
(1) willfully and knowingly to enter or remain in any posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting;
(2) willfully and knowingly to enter or remain in 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; "

And here is the law as amended:

"(a) Whoever—
(1) knowingly enters or remains in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so;
(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;

You will notice that according to the first standard, the conduct must be done 'willfully and knowingly'. Also, the previous version of the law defined a restricted area in terms of a visit by the President or another dignitary entitled to Secret Service protection. Finally, the provision that an event be a 'special event of national significance' has been amended to pertain to "the orderly conduct of government business or official functions".

The fact is that these changes can be interpreted as conferring authority in a wide variety of circumstances that may not have been applicable under the previous version of the law. Is this as ominous as some have taken it? Perhaps not, but it is also not totally innocuous either. It remains to be seen just how the provisions of this law will be interpreted, i.e. what events constitute an 'official function', and how broadly "Government business" is defined.

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