By Gabe Kaminsky
California State Assembly member Ash Kalra eliminated language in his proposed bill AB 655, the California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act, that could have banned conservatives and people of faith from law enforcement. The Democratic lawmaker made the change on Friday.
As reported by The Federalist, the San Jose assemblyman previously sought to define hate speech “as advocating or supporting the denial of constitutional rights of, the genocide of, or violence towards, any group of persons based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.”
By this standard, organizations such as the California Family Council, Pacific Justice Institute, and Sacramento Peace Officers Association said the measure would classify a whole swath of Americans as “hateful” for dissenting from the left on views such as abortion, marriage, or gender ideology.
“Under the guise of addressing police gangs, the bill at the same time launches an inexplicable, unwarranted, and unprecedented attack on peaceable, conscientious officers who happen to hold conservative political and religious views,” said Pacific Justice Institute Senior Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds a few weeks ago. “Indeed, this is one of the most undisguised and appalling attempts we have ever seen, in more than 20 years of monitoring such legislation, on the freedom of association and freedom to choose minority viewpoints.”
“The definitions of a hate group in particular are so broad that it would encompass all sorts of groups that nobody would say would actually constitute some sort of a problematic hate group,” argued David Levine, a constitutional law professor at the University of California.
The same day The Federalist published an outline of how the measure could effect Christians and conservatives, Kalra doubled-down on the proposed bill in an interview with an NBC News affiliate. “You have a constitutional right to have racist and bigoted views. You don’t have a constitutional right to be a police officer,” Kalra said, clearly insinuating his arbitrary definition of racism ought to determine who can protect and serve communities.
Read more at The Federalist.