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Minnesota considers ending lawmaker immunity law by 84fiero123
Started on: 04-14-2014 01:19 PM
Replies: 10 (211 views)
Last post by: Neils88 on 04-15-2014 07:32 PM
84fiero123
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Report this Post04-14-2014 01:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just saw this and it burns me up that its against the law to arrest a lawmaker for DWI, doen't surprise me, just pisses me off.
Apr 10, 5:01 PM (ET)

By STEVE KARNOWSKI




(AP) In this April 3, 2014 photo provided by Concordia University, from left: Akolade Gdadamosi;...
Full Image


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A college project that alleged some state lawmakers might have used immunity to avoid drunken-driving arrests has sparked debate in Minnesota over whether to scrap a more than 150-year-old protection similar to those still on the books for Congress and most state legislatures.

At issue is a provision in the Minnesota Constitution from 1858 that was meant to protect legislators against being arrested to prevent them from voting on important measures. The state House voted 115-13 late Wednesday to lift the immunity despite arguments that no change is needed, and a state senator is trying to find a way to bring a similar proposal up for a vote in her chamber.

There is arrest immunity language in the U.S. Constitution and 44 other state constitutions, said Brenda Erickson, senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. There have been unsuccessful attempts to repeal the privilege in Arizona, including one drive that began in 2012 when a senator avoided arrest after getting into a fight with his girlfriend on a Phoenix freeway.

The doctrine of legislative immunity dates back to 16th and 17th century England when some monarchs would seek to intimidate legislators with the threat of arrest or prosecution. Federal and state courts have given varying interpretations of how far the protection extends, the conference says.



Minnesota state Sen. Kathy Sheran, D-Mankato, whose version of the immunity bill got bottled up in committee, acknowledged there are only anecdotes - not confirmed evidence - in recent years of lawmakers using immunity as "get out of jail free" cards.

"If the problem is that the general public believes that the card provides unnecessary and extraordinary privilege to elected officials that's beyond what's reasonable, treating them as special in relationship to the general public, then it is a problem," said Sheran, who doesn't carry her immunity card and isn't sure how many colleagues do.

Immunity became an issue in Minnesota two years ago as a project for Jayne Jones' political sciences students at Concordia University in St. Paul. The professor and her students said they became convinced by what they heard from lawmakers and police during their research that some legislators had abused their state-issued immunity cards to get away with driving drunk.

http://apnews.excite.com/ar...40410/DAD3GD3O1.html

more at the link and I didn't read it all so if I am wrong about what I said so be it, but if I am WTF is wrong with this country.

Steve

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Fats
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Report this Post04-14-2014 01:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FatsClick Here to Email FatsSend a Private Message to FatsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
The state House voted 115-13 late Wednesday to lift the immunity despite arguments that no change is needed



"OK, lift the immunity, but we're all going to need raises, DWI's are expensive you know." -Unknown legislator.

Brad
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Raydar
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Report this Post04-14-2014 01:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
There was a situation, not long ago, of one of the local lawmakers (somewhere in Gwinnett County) being arrested and charged with DUI, even though he passed a field sobriety test and came up 0.00 on the breathalyzer. Apparently, he had done something that pissed off one of the other local lawmakers.

On the face of it, immunity sounds like a bad idea but, given the circumstances above, perhaps not.
(I don't know how it finally worked out. Seems like charges were dropped or plead down.)
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dsnover
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Report this Post04-14-2014 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dsnoverSend a Private Message to dsnoverEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

There was a situation, not long ago, of one of the local lawmakers (somewhere in Gwinnett County) being arrested and charged with DUI, even though he passed a field sobriety test and came up 0.00 on the breathalyzer. Apparently, he had done something that pissed off one of the other local lawmakers.

On the face of it, immunity sounds like a bad idea but, given the circumstances above, perhaps not.
(I don't know how it finally worked out. Seems like charges were dropped or plead down.)


That situation is exactly the reason that the founding fathers were trying to avoid, thus, immunity -while traveling- to/from sessions of Congress.
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2.5
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Report this Post04-14-2014 01:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

There was a situation, not long ago, of one of the local lawmakers (somewhere in Gwinnett County) being arrested and charged with DUI, even though he passed a field sobriety test and came up 0.00 on the breathalyzer. Apparently, he had done something that pissed off one of the other local lawmakers.

On the face of it, immunity sounds like a bad idea but, given the circumstances above, perhaps not.
(I don't know how it finally worked out. Seems like charges were dropped or plead down.)


Seems like another bad band aid to cover a corruption that should have been stopped in the first place.
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2.5
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Report this Post04-14-2014 01:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

2.5

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quote
Originally posted by dsnover:


That situation is exactly the reason that the founding fathers were trying to avoid, thus, immunity -while traveling- to/from sessions of Congress.


So the officers should escort them to do their business, then afterwards go through with the arrest or citation.
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carnut122
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Report this Post04-14-2014 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Raydar:

There was a situation, not long ago, of one of the local lawmakers (somewhere in Gwinnett County) being arrested and charged with DUI, even though he passed a field sobriety test and came up 0.00 on the breathalyzer. Apparently, he had done something that pissed off one of the other local lawmakers.

On the face of it, immunity sounds like a bad idea but, given the circumstances above, perhaps not.
(I don't know how it finally worked out. Seems like charges were dropped or plead down.)


Did he shut down a bridge for days to do a traffic survey. Oops, never mind...wrong politician.
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84fiero123
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Report this Post04-15-2014 12:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 84fiero123Click Here to Email 84fiero123Send a Private Message to 84fiero123Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dsnover:


That situation is exactly the reason that the founding fathers were trying to avoid, thus, immunity -while traveling- to/from sessions of Congress.


I don't think that is how these legislators are using their "Get out of Jail Free Cards"

They are using them all the time, ever watch sessions of congress and see all the sleeping or passed out drunks in those?

They are not heading to a session of the legislature after leaving a bar at closing time now are they.

Steve
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dratts
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Report this Post04-15-2014 02:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for drattsClick Here to Email drattsSend a Private Message to drattsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 84fiero123:


I don't think that is how these legislators are using their "Get out of Jail Free Cards"

They are using them all the time, ever watch sessions of congress and see all the sleeping or passed out drunks in those?

They are not heading to a session of the legislature after leaving a bar at closing time now are they.

Steve


You all know that I'm not a fan of our government by any means. Most of the times I would have a hard time staying awake in those sessions too though.
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blackrams
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Report this Post04-15-2014 02:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for blackramsClick Here to Email blackramsSend a Private Message to blackramsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Long ago in another (professional) life, I learned that the only LEO that can arrest a state legislature member is a district constable in Kentucky, the KY State Highway Patrol can't, the County Sheriffs can't, nor can any City Police. Only a District Constable. All the legislative member has to do is show his membership card.

The other LEOs can hold the suspect until the district constable arrives (should he/she choose to do so) but, it's the Constable's decision whether or not to do so. Needless to say, but there hasn't been an arrest in decades and I surely don't believe there hasn't been a justification to do so. Sad but, when you hold the power it's apparently easy to become corrupted.

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Ron
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Isn't it strange that after a bombing, everyone blames the bomber, his upbringing, his environment, his culture, his mental state but … after a shooting, the problem is the gun?

My Uncle Frank was a staunch Conservative and voted straight Republican until the day he died in Chicago. Since then he has voted Democrat. Shrug

[This message has been edited by blackrams (edited 04-15-2014).]

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Neils88
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Report this Post04-15-2014 07:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Neils88Click Here to Email Neils88Send a Private Message to Neils88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by blackrams:

Long ago in another (professional) life, I learned that the only LEO that can arrest a state legislature member is a district constable in Kentucky, the KY State Highway Patrol can't, the County Sheriffs can't, nor can any City Police. Only a District Constable. All the legislative member has to do is show his membership card.

The other LEOs can hold the suspect until the district constable arrives (should he/she choose to do so) but, it's the Constable's decision whether or not to do so. Needless to say, but there hasn't been an arrest in decades and I surely don't believe there hasn't been a justification to do so. Sad but, when you hold the power it's apparently easy to become corrupted.



For some reason this comes to mind...


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