Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Repeal KRS 121.310 for P'Pool and Conway

Both the Lexington Herald Leader and Louisville Courier Journal reported this week on supporters of Kentucky Attorney General candidate Todd P'Pool facing felony convictions for talking about their candidate and his opponent Attorney General Jack Conway.

The news stories are here and here.

At issue is KRS 121.310, which appears as follows in Kentucky law:

The law is so sloppy and imprecise it should be repealed. To do otherwise is to allow an unconstitutional prosecution of speech while empowering government to make up the rules as it goes along.

First, the law doesn't necessarily restrict only employers. By stating "no person shall" without defining person, much less specifying employers as a target, the law could mean to inhibit anyone from talking to someone who has a job. Then, we could interpret "coerce or direct any employee" to mean "tell any employee." Worst of all, the rest of paragraph (1) could easily apply to wearing a t-shirt or possessing a political bumper sticker or flyer.

And paragraph (2) is worse.

Todd P'Pool's supporters shouldn't face felony convictions under this ridiculous statute and Jack Conway's shouldn't either, which they clearly and easily could if Republicans sought to make the point. Repealing this nonsense makes sense for all Kentuckians.