ATLANTA – This afternoon, the ACLU of Georgia sent a letter Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan in strong opposition to HB 289, which, if passed, would violate Georgians’ freedoms of speech and assembly as guaranteed by Section I, paragraphs V and IX of the Georgia Constitution and by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
HB 289 attempts to punish Georgians for exercising their constitu-tional rights, and many of HB 289’s provisions raise serious constitu-tional concerns.
- HB 289 adds an unconstitutionally vague and overbroad definition of unlawful assembly to Georgia’s Criminal Code.
- HB 289’s universal permit requirement is an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech.
- HB 289 incentivizes counties and municipalities to encourage aggressive police action against protestors and to violate protestors’ First Amendment rights.
“HB 289 is an unconstitutional and unnecessary infringement on Georgians’ constitutional rights of speech and assembly. Should it pass, we urge you not to sign it into law,” said Christopher Bruce, political director of the ACLU of Georgia.