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Eye On Boise

Mon., March 18, 2013, 12:03 p.m.

Second bill introduced to criminalize Idaho officers for following federal law

A second bill to criminalize Idaho police officers if they follow certain federal laws has been introduced in this year’s legislative session; today’s bill, from Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, is dubbed the “Idaho Liberty Preservation Act.”

The House already has passed HB 219, legislation from Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, to impose misdemeanor criminal penalties against Idaho officers who enforce any new federal laws that ban or require registration of any guns or ammunition. That bill, which passed the House on a 55-13 vote a week ago, hasn’t yet had a hearing in the Senate.

Pearce said he brought his new bill because the National Defense Authorization Act approved by Congress “allows for the government to come in and pick up our citizens and never have them appear before a judge, they can be moved anywhere and in prison for untold periods of time.” He said he believes that violates the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8thand 14thamendments to the US. Constitution, so he’s proposed legislation that both declares those portions of the national law to be “invalid and illegal in this state,” and to impose misdemeanor penalties, including up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, for any Idaho officer who “participate(s) in any way” in enforcement of them.

“It says we in the state determine what the Constitution is, how our state officers will function,” Pearce told the Senate State Affairs Committee. After several question, the panel voted, on a divided voice vote, to introduce Pearce’s bill.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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