Conservative Doesn’t Always Mean Constitutional

Conservative Doesn’t Always Mean Constitutional

December 16, 2016 Blog 0

Conservative Doesn’t Always Mean Constitutional

Often times the legislative committee is asked why they didn’t like a piece of legislation that was being promoted by people they believe to be very conservative, so this will help answer that question.
The committee believes that the constitution is a complete document and as such all of it must be followed no matter how good a certain piece of legislation may be or how good it sounds.  Currently this year 2017 we have already lain our eyes on such a bill that needs to be explained.  Everyone in the committee and in the organization has the utmost respect for our first responders and the jobs they do, I myself have two sons who are involved in these professions.
HB86 has been introduced and will be heard next year when the legislature convenes, it is titled AN ACT to repeal section 557.035, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to crimes committed against law enforcement officers and first responders, with penalty provisions.  This bill seems harmless enough and it also pulls at the heartstrings of the electorate as we want to do everything possible to protect and defend those men and woman who do a job that most people wouldn’t do, so what is the problem you might ask?  I’m glad you asked.
Contained in the MO Constitution under article 1 is the Bill of RIGHTS which governs how those in government must govern and in A1S2 is the following:
Section 2. That all constitutional government is intended to promote the general welfare of the people; that all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry; that all persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunity under the law; that to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and that when government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. II, § 4.
How can anyone proclaim they are following the MO Constitution of equal rights when contained in HB 86 is the following language:
557.035. 1. For all violations of subdivision (1) of subsection 1 of section 569.100 or  subdivision (1), (2), (3), (4), (6), (7) or (8) of subsection 1 of section 571.030, which the state  believes to be knowingly motivated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability of the victim or victims, or because of the victim’s employment as a law enforcement officer or first responder, the state may charge the offense or offenses under this section, and the violation is a class D felony. The bolded section is being added to allow for a higher crime to be charged simply because of the profession of the person involved and it goes on further to define how the terms are being used here:
For purposes of this section, “first responder” means state and local law enforcement personnel, fire department personnel, and emergency medical personnel who may be deployed to terrorist attacks, catastrophic or natural disasters, and emergencies. “Law enforcement officer” means any public servant having both the power and duty to make arrests for violations of the laws of this state and federal law enforcement officers authorized to carry firearms and to make arrests for violations of the laws of the United States.
Some may say this is splitting hairs but under the guise of this law they are creating a special class of individual simply because of the job they do and no ones life is more important then any other.    The legislative committee will reject this piece of legislation as being unconstitutional as it does not adhere to A1S2