A Bill in the “Are You Nuts?” Category

Give credit to Illinois Leaks blowing the whistle on House Bill 4151.

Here’s a description of the legislative proposal:

Amends the Criminal Code of 2012.

Creates the offense of disorderly conduct in a school zone. Provides that a person commits the offense when he or she:

McHenry West High School picketers in 2015.

(1) knowingly displays signs, engages in oral protest, education, or passing leaflets or handbills within 300 feet of school premises, from one hour prior to the start of the school day until one hour after the school day ends; or

Teachers carrying picket signs on Haligus Road during the 2012 strike in the Huntley School District.
  • (2) knowingly approaches within 8 feet of an individual who is within 300 feet of school premises for purposes of displaying signs, engaging in oral protest, education, or passing leaflets or handbills, from one hour prior to the start of the school day until one hour after the school day ends.
  • Provides that disorderly conduct in a school zone is a Class A misdemeanor. Defines “school”. Contains a severability provision. Effective immediately.

Beware of unintended consequences.


A Bill in the “Are You Nuts?” Category — 23 Comments

  1. How does this get by the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution?

    How could ANYONE in the legal community not vomit with the thought of this intrusion?

  2. I agree. In my opinion, the proposed law would be unlikely to pass First Amendment muster as being overbroad, thereby encompassing protected activity.

  3. “How could ANYONE in the legal community not vomit with the thought of this intrusion?”


    The legal system is adversarial.

    They live in a world where there’s no such thing as constitutional and unconstitutional.

    There is only what you get away with and what you don’t.

    A lawyer that isn’t constantly pushing that envelope isn’t a very good lawyer.

  4. If she would have just slipped it in on page 3153, of the Clogged Toilet Awareness Bill, nobody would be the wiser.

  5. I imagine the argument for constitutionality would be that kids need peace and quiet during the day for learning and need to be able to come back and forth to school without having to pass picket lines.

    However, I don’t think those arguments would work against a constitutional challenge.

    This one is going to get everyone mad.

    The teachers who want to picket for union issues and the anti mask parents.

    What nunbskull down in Springpatch introduced this?

  6. Why would teachers ever picket?

    Their creepy union runs the state!

    IEA…….. idiot educators assn.

  7. Ditto on Primate and Science’s comment’s.

    LTR, it’s not the state that makes the teacher’s contract. There is tension between local school boards who may not want to raise property taxes (especially close to an election year and if they live in a conservative area) and teachers who always want more money.

    I hope anti-maskers and teachers unite and btfo of this garbage legislation tramping on people’s right to assemble.

  8. Mr. X – thanks for the shout-out on a thread I’m not commenting on. I appreciate the rent free living in your head.

  9. Don’t be too sure this bill won’t pass 1A constitutional test.

    Under “reasonable restrictions”, the legislation is not completely prohibiting free speech, simply placing restrictions protestors stay far enough off school premises during certain hours on school days.

    As is, will prevent teachers unions from picketing a school site, and the recent protest by a union in NJ placing a coffin at an elementary school saying school board “killing” teacher careers is one of the forms of protest this bill is targeting.

    I don’t like the bill, but don’t assume it’s unconstitutional on 1A grounds when it can pass constitutional muster.

  10. “Absent evidence that the protesters’ speech is independently Page IV proscribable (i.e, “fighting words” or threats), or is so infused with violence as to be indistinguishable from a threat of physical harm, the 300-foot no-approach zone around the clinic – and particularly its consent requirement – burdens more speech than is necessary to accomplish the goals of preventing intimidation and ensuring access to the clinic.”


    I can discern nothing that would distinguish this bill from the 300-foot “buffer zone” injunction invalidated in Madsen. (Madsen vs. Women’s Health Center, Inc., 512 U.S. 753, 114 S.Ct. 2516, 129 L.Ed.2d 593 (1994)).

    In my opinion, a more finely crafted bill might pass constitutional muster, but this bill does not. It is simply overbroad, sweeping within its prohibitive ambit protected activity.

  11. Madsen vs. Women’s Health Center is inapposite to the school premises bill.

    Just the fact vast majority of people the IL bill trying to protect are minors from age 5 opposed to adults, or biological mature female minors, rules out Madsen.

    The coffin incident in NJ (and it was a real coffin used on an elementary school property on a school day) is something children age 5 thru 12 will find their parents not wanting their children to experience.

    Try again Innocent Primate, and try a similar context, like minors on school property.

  12. If the bill is killed, it won’t have to play out in court. 😀

    I see that wacko Stava Murray is a cosponsor.

    What is Yingling thinking? He pretends to be Mr. Common Sense but it looks like Skillicorn was right about Yingling.

    He’s a phony!

    If you click on the link to the bill, you’ll get a list of sponsors.

    If you click on a name, you’ll get their contact info.

    So far there are 8 sponsors.

  13. John Lopez

    I think we’ll simply have to agree to disagree on this one. I don’t believe that First Amendment freedom of speech issues involving protests hinge (or should hinge) upon the age, activity or status of the persons supposedly being protected against protests, particularly absent any showing of illegality or disruption. (I don’t believe offending sensibilities is even close to being sufficient. If such were the case, most protests could be banned because virtually every protest offends someone’s sensibilities.) In short, in my view the difference you note is not (or should not be) a legally meaningful distinction.

    Nonetheless, I’m obliged to note your position is supportable.


    It will be interesting to see developments, if any, in the aforementioned case.

    Moreover, the Roberts’ Court is noted for being very solicitous of freedom of speech protections, as is reflected in its decisions. (See,e.g., Joel M. Gora, Free Speech Matters: The Roberts Court And The First Amendment, 25 J.L.&Pol’y 63, 64 (2016) (“For a ten-year period, the Roberts Supreme Court may well have been the most speech-protective Court in a generation, if not in our history, extending free speech protection on a number of fronts and rebuffing claims by government and its allies to limit such protections.”) (footnote indicating the different contexts in which the Roberts Court has taken an expansive view of First Amendment freedoms omitted)).

    But thanks for the push back. As remarked by Judge Weaver in Anatomy of a Murder (1959), “while I might appear to doze occasionally, you will find that I am easily awakened, particularly if shaken gently by . . . a nice point of law.”

  14. Correcting, Skillicorn was right about a lot of things.

    Take the pathetic nature of the GOP “leadership” in this state for instance.

  15. Skillicorn was great.

    He called McConchie a “wuss” and Reick a ‘drunken trained seal’.

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