A Democrat assembly member from California is backtracking the proposed AB 655, which aims to discriminate against and prohibit conservatives and people of faith from serving in law enforcement.
A proposed bill in California reported last week would discriminate against law enforcement who have religious or conservative views. AB 655 or the California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act (CLEAR Act) was initially written to weed out police officers who have used "hate speech" or have been part of any "hate group."
Proposed by California Democrat Assemblymember Ash Kalra, AB 655 initially defined participating in a "hate group" 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." Now, Kalra is backtracking on the language used in the bill.
Now, the bill that could bar police from serving has been revised to remove the language that refers to "supporting the denial of constitutional rights of...any group of persons based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability."
The Federalist reported that by this standard, organizations like the California Family Council, Pacific Justice Institute, and Sacramento Peace Officers Association all agreed that the proposed legislation would classify a large part of the American population as "hateful" for disagreeing with the Left, especially on topics such as abortion, gender ideology, and marriage.
University of California's David Levine, a constitutional law professor, explained that the CLEAR Act's definition of a "hate group" was "so broad that it would encompass all sorts of groups that nobody would say would actually constitute some sort of a problematic hate group." Anyone who felt offended by any group would label such an organization as a "hate group" and can abuse the law to punish those who have differing views.
While the proposed CLEAR Act was created to target police gangs, Pacific Justice Institute Senior Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds argued that it also "launches an inexplicable, unwarranted, and unprecedented attack on peaceable, conscientious officers who happen to hold conservative political and religious views," making it a highly discriminating bill that can be used to oppress others.
McReynolds condemned the proposed AB 655, saying it was a blatant, "undisguised and appalling attempt on the freedom of association and freedom to choose minority viewpoints." In a conversation with NBC New's KCRA, Kalra defended AB 655 saying, "You have a constitutional right to have racist and bigoted views. You don't have a constitutional right to be a police officer."
Now that the proposed bill is garnering overwhelming negative reactions from several organizations, the California Democrat assemblymember is backtracking, saying that the language pertaining to the denial of constitutional rights has been removed because every American has the First Amendment right to be part of any group that differs in opinions.
The proposed bill that could bar police from serving depending on their conservative views comes at the heels of the Jan, 6 Capitol Hill attack, in which Kalra believes there was an "apparent cooperation, participation, and support of some law enforcement." He hopes that AB 655 can help prevent this in the future.