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GOP senator sues Democrats over fines, access to Capitol

July 26, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon Republican senator who boycotted the Capitol over a climate change bill has filed a lawsuit against a Democratic leader and other legislative officials.

Earlier this month, a legislative committee voted to require Sen. Brian Boquist, of Dallas, to provide 12 hours’ notice before reporting to the Capitol so additional state troopers can be summoned.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Boquist alleges in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Portland Friday that this amounts to punishment for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech on the Senate floor, where he told Senate President Peter Courtney, “If you send the state police to get me, hell is coming to visit you personally.”

Boquist also threatened state police.

The lawsuit says the requirement to give notice violates his First Amendment right to freedom of assembly.

Boquist says Democrats’ decision to send state troopers to round up absent Republicans, and $500-a-day fines violated his constitutional right to due process.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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