Democrats backtrack on retaliation. Sen. Boquist scores win.

By NW Spotlight,

On Monday the Senate Committee on Conduct voted 3-1 to rescind the measure it had imposed on a Senator Brian Boquist (I-Dallas) after statements made on the Senate Floor during the 2019 session. Since July 2019, Sen. Boquist has been required to give 12 hours’ notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to improve security after alleged threatening statements.

At the time, Gov. Kate Brown and Senate President Peter Courtney, both Democrats, sought to use the Oregon State Police to compel the Republicans to return to the Capitol. The supermajority Democrats were infuriated that Senate Republicans had denied quorum and prevented the passage of cap and trade, a bill that put Portland’s carbon emissions problem on the backs of rural Oregonians, and retaliated against Sen. Boquist for free speech-protected comments made on the Senate Floor.

On June 19, 2019, Boquist stood on the Senate floor and told Courtney: “Mr. President, if you send the state police to get me, hell’s coming to visit you personally.” Later that day Boquist told a reporter that the state police should “send bachelors and come heavily armed” as he would not be a prisoner in the state of Oregon, in a now-infamous comment.  Boquist has maintained in a lawsuit that his right to free speech was violated and was retaliated against. In a ruling last April, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

As KGW reports: “Boquist has sued Courtney, Manning, committee co-chair Sen. Floyd Prozanski and several legislative officials, alleging that his free speech rights were violated. A federal judge in 2020 threw out the lawsuit, ruling that Boquist’s remarks amounted to threats. The federal appeals court issued a 32-page opinion in April that said Boquist had a valid point, and sent the case back to the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Oregon.

‘“Boquist’s rhetorical response to the majority’s threat to use state police to arrest the departing senators and return them to the Capitol therefore fits easily within the wide latitude given to elected officials ‘to express their views,’” Appeals Court Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote.”

With the 9th circuit court agreeing with Sen. Boquist, it’s obvious the Democratic legislators are covering their tracks by rescinding the requirement for Boquist to provide multiple hours’ notice upon arrival to the Capitol.