The Embarrassment Of Gov. Haslam

Gov. Haslam has truly shown his ignorance with the ridiculous “curfew” he imposed on Legislative Plaza to quash Occupy Nashville. When even the former spokesperson for the Tennessee Republican Party says your actions are unconstitutional, you know you’ve stepped in, eh Governor?

Last night Occupy Nashville protestors were arrested again, and early this morning they were released … again. Metro Night Court Judge Tom Nelson told the state troopers who made the arrests that

… the curfew being enforced at the Capitol had no constitutional grounds whatsoever.

“I have reviewed the regulations of the state of Tennessee, and I can find no authority anywhere for anyone to authorize a curfew anywhere on Legislative Plaza,” Judge Nelson told a grimacing trooper, before ordering the immediate release of everyone arrested.

Hear that, Governor? You can’t arbitrarily impose a rule, pretend it’s a law, have state police enforce it, and then expect it to hold up in court. In fact, I wonder if there won’t be a wrongful arrest action or two as a result of Haslam’s embarrassing lack of knowledge about the limits of his power.

Sorry, but this ain’t Italy and you’re not Il Duce.

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9 Comments

Filed under Bill Haslam, Nashville protest

9 responses to “The Embarrassment Of Gov. Haslam

  1. One more shout out to the occupiers. Watched on their livestream. Everyone remained calm. I have no truck with the THP but have to know when the decision was returned and the DFH’s in the courtroom exploded with “Whose Plaza? Our Plaza!” they could have spit nails.

  2. A rather minute but kinda funny detail I haven’t seen in media reports. The curfew started at 10 pm. A TPAC performance wrapped about the same time and numerous patrons of the arts crossed the plaza on their way back to their vehicles. As best as I can tell none were arrested. Little known statute: parking immunity.

    • I saw that mentioned in the AP story:

      There was no noticeable law enforcement presence for nearly two hours after the curfew went into effect, while adjacent theaters let out and patrons filtered back through the plaza to their cars without being challenged for violating the restrictions.

      “Nothing was done to them, they were not arrested,” said protester Michael Custer, 46. “But we are arrested while we are expressing our constitutional right to free speech.”

      Once the theater traffic cleared, dozens of state troopers descended on the plaza and began arresting protesters and a journalist for the Nashville Scene, an alternative weekly newspaper.

      They were careful not to accidentally arrest anyone attending TPAC’s “Wicked,” but were sloppy enough to arrest Jonathan Meador with the Nashville Scene.

  3. PurpleGirl

    Haslam may want to imitate Il Duce, but he should remember how Il Duce left this world…

  4. Pingback: Balloon Juice » “Why Our Generation is Screwed”

  5. I am quite sure that you are not in Italy. I am. We don’t have il Duce here anymore (we have il douche instead http://bit.ly/vDvfZm). Around here (very close to where I type) the following and much much more lead to 20 arrests

    http://www.angrybearblog.com/2011/10/roman-riot.html

    Yes 20. I hasten to add that we didn’t do it — the rioting was not done by regular occupy Rome demonstrators, but by a small group of kids who would really rather throw junk on soccer fields. Everyone agrees with this claim especially including the ex (or so he says) fascist mayor.

  6. HeartlandLiberal

    I just emailed a close friend of 35 years, from back in the time I lived and taught high school in Nashville back in the late 1970′s, expressing my deep sorrow that his state had been taken over by a fascist right wing political group of politicians who clearly had no idea what the words “American Democracy” and “the right to vote even if you are an old 90 year old Black woman” mean.

  7. Min

    He may be dumb as a coal bucket, but he’ll always be Il Duce to me.