Idaho Dispatch

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Rep. Chaney (R-Caldwell) Target of Protests as HB 195 Passes House Committee

By • February 19, 2021

House Bill 195 is designed to prohibit protesting outside the homes of someone’s residence in Idaho.

The bill is being proposed by Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) and Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise). The legislators said the bill was being brought forward as a result of several protests that have taken place outside of elected official’s and other people’s homes over the last few months.

HB 195 passed the House Judiciary and Rules Committee, chaired by Rep. Chaney, on a vote of 11-4.

Below is the wording from the Statement of Purpose on HB 195:

This bill amends Chapter 64, Title 18, Idaho Code by the addition of a new section 18-6411 that prohibits targeted residential picketing. Any person who in engages in picketing or otherwise demonstrates in front of person’s residence or dwelling with the intent to harass, harm, annoy or alarm another person commits target picketing.

Here is the main portion of the text of the bill which also contains an emergency provision which means the bill would take effect immediately after signage by the governor:

TARGETED PICKETING. (1) Any person who intentionally engages in picketing or otherwise demonstrates on the street or sidewalk in front of a person’s residence or dwelling place, or the adjacent residence or dwelling place, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person commits targeted picketing. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a residence or dwelling place used as the principal place of business of an individual.
(2) Any person who engages in targeted picketing shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

HB 195 states that if a home is being used as the principal place of business then the law would not apply.

The bill would prevent individuals, with intent, from annoying, harassing, or alarming someone outside of their home. Some testifiers who spoke said that the definitions of those words were too vague.

All of the testifiers who spoke on Friday were opposed to the bill. Idaho Dispatch did not hear all testimony from Wednesday to know if any supporting testimony was given but the ones we did hear were in opposition to HB 195.

The ACLU also opposed the bill and said that there were already enough laws on the books and that the law would face constitutional challenges.

Rep. Green said during the closing of the debate on the bill in committee,

The events of the past year really can’t be forgotten. As many people have testified here in this room, a new playbook was written and several groups of individual’s across the spectrum used it to terrify families in their homes.

Green and Chaney have discussed several incidents including sidewalk chalk protests outside of Boise City Council member’s homes last year. Additionally, Green also brought up a protest outside the home of a Meridian police officer’s home last year and said that that particular incident was more personal for her because her husband is also a police officer.

Chaney closed out the debate on the bill by saying,

This bill does not limit the ability to protest. If this bill passes, you will nonetheless have the same right to protest that you have now. It is a location restriction only and it is a narrow one.

Chaney declared “Rule 80” on the vote itself because he said the bill was drafted prior to protests outside of his home earlier this week. Rule 80 meant that Chaney would choose not to vote on the bill because it had at this point become a personal issue and therefore Chaney was allowed to not vote on it.

Prior to today’s hearing, Chaney’s home has had protesters outside of it. Additionally, protesters have targeted Chaney’s business advertising.

You can see some of the images here (story continues below):

This image comes from a public post from the wife of Rep. Greg Chaney on Facebook.
It is unclear who the individual is in this image. It was sent to Idaho Dispatch without any acknowledgement of where it originated from.

The bill now moves to the full Idaho House for consideration.

What do you think of protesting outside of people’s homes? Is it appropriate or inappropriate?

Let us know in the comments below.


Tags: ACLU, Brooke Green, Greg Chaney, HB 195, House Judiciary and Rules, Picketing

14 thoughts on “Rep. Chaney (R-Caldwell) Target of Protests as HB 195 Passes House Committee

  1. If our elected officials conducted business in open meetings at city buildings instead of hiding at home using Zoom or other programs, people wouldn’t protest in front of their houses.

    “The people shall have the right to assemble in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good; to instruct their representatives, and to petition the legislature for the redress of grievances.” Idaho Constitution, Article I, Section 10

  2. Seems like they are more interested in shielding public servants than working with the public they are supposed to serve.

  3. The Constitution provides at least two items related to this:

    1.) The right to peaceably assemble: This is for the People to object peaceably, in order that their thoughts are clearly heard in order that their servants, in this case the politicians or unelected board members, can understand that they may be headed the wrong direction and to correct themselves. This is meant to keep the peace so that stronger actions are avoided.

    2.) The right to sue: This is for the People that are in disagreement to engage the courts in order to peaceably settle differences of opinion. This is meant to keep the peace so that stronger actions are avoided.

    This legislation will only elevate tensions/situations by frustrating the People who simply would like to be heard, here and now, peacefully.

    You Legislators should both relish and encourage the Rights of the People to speak and act in these peaceful ways.

    This legislation is ill conceived, not thought out and may well lead to more aggression, surely an unintended consequence.

    DO NOT ALLOW THIS: VOTE NO!

  4. I don’t really have anything against this bill. Except that I can see it leading to other bills about protesting at places of business and so on…

  5. I have a few thoughts on this but over all, public officials should NOT be allowed to conduct business meetings from their homes. In the case of lock downs, etc… there are ways to minimize risk, even doing meetings in public offices via teleconferences, etc with people being separated by walls within those public buildings. There is way to much separation between citizen and state and hiding out in your private home because you dont want to face scrutiny should NOT be allowed. In this, the public has a right to voice their opinions, agreements, disagreements in non violent ways, but when those public servants deny the public access to their constitutional rights, of course, people will get angry and go further in their means to voice those opinions. On the other side of things, I feel its very selfish for these public servants to conduct this business in their homes, as they are putting their families onto the public stage and I can only imagine how these poor kids feel when they are innated with public opinion in their faces all the time, and cannot even go outside or feel safe in the one place where they should feel protected. If you dont want your private life or family involved, dont put them in the middle of it, its pretty simple IMO. We are seeing this more and more, especially with the Democrats… politics should never go so low as to ostracize families who have nothing to do with public policy. The brutal harassments of Baron Trump discusted me and I feel that its getting worse as many are becoming numb to this. This is a form of abuse, IMO, as we SHOULD be protecting these children. There should be a separation between public and private, just as I leave my work AT WORK when I clock out. These public servants should not be allowed to remain separated from those they are sworn to serve and the more its allowed to continue, the more tyrannical and power hungry they become. So as a life long constitutional conservative, I would just like to remind people to think about the trauma to those that have no outlet. Lets NOT adopt the Democrats mentality of everyone being fair game. I would also like to remind these servants… who were voted in BY the citizens; you have a job to do and if you want your private life to remain private, do not take your job home and listen to those that you are supposed to serve. People do not protest if they feel their concerns are being heard, and people just want to know that they are being listened to. Be the public servant you should be and meet your constituents head on. This is all just my opinion though, not that it ever mattered.

  6. So making first amendment off limits areas?
    No thanks! Aren’t there already loitering and disturbing the peace laws? Use them.

  7. “This bill does not limit the ability to protest. If this bill passes, you will nonetheless have the same right to protest that you have now. It is a location restriction only and it is a narrow one.”

    What a bunch of Orwellian doublespeak. If there is a location restriction, then you have de facto protest limitation. Chaney and Green should be given the boot. This creeping limitation to rights of citizens must be stopped.

  8. Chaney has proven himself a non conservative us my first thought. First this small restriction then another. This is exactly how they eat away at our rights.

  9. Tyranny by government is almost certainly going to be met with resistance. A constitutional republic does not have to worry about these protests as there would be no reason to protest. It is that simple

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