The Lesser-Known Clause of the First Amendment
United States Constitution – Amendment I (Dec. 15, 1791):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
New Hampshire Constitution – Article 31 (June 2, 1784, Amended 1792):
The legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances and for making such laws as the public good may require.
In 2011, after a century of dormancy, the House Redress of Grievances Committee was re-established by then Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Two years later, within hours of taking control of the New Hampshire House, the Democrats in Concord eliminated this committee with a stroke of the pen. Who could have guessed that listening to the voice of the People, and upholding their oath to support the Constitution aren’t exactly at the top of their list of things they like to do.
It’s not that they dislike the First Amendment…entirely. After all, it’s the device that protects Paul Krugman’s right to demonstrate to the world, what an amazingly clueless clownsuit he is. It’s the device that protects the right of the women from Code Pink to prance around in public wearing giant vagina costumes (while claiming they want to have a serious discussion on women’s health issues).
They’re just not a big fan of it when it’s used by regular citizens to voice an opinion that runs contrary to their “progressive” collectivist ideology.
We here at the New Hampshire Soap Box are all about giving the People of New Hampshire an outlet for exercising their First Amendment rights, regardless of one’s political inclinations. And we’re not alone.
From the Concord Monitor:
A week after lawmakers abolished the Redress of Grievances Committee, a former House member has revived it as a private business dedicated to reigning in unfair judges and government officials.
Kevin Avard, a Nashua Republican who served on the redress committee before losing his re-election bid last year, created the Center for Redress of Grievances in late November. He is holding his first organizational meeting today at the library in Hooksett from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
He hopes to recruit a group of former and current lawmakers and attorneys to hear citizens’ complaints against the state’s courts and state agencies. When appropriate, the center will ask a sitting lawmaker to introduce legislation remedying alleged problems.
The center, which won’t charge for the work, will also help aggrieved citizens file lawsuits when necessary, Avard said.
He has our support.