Court Finds Gov. Nikki Haley Violated Protesters’ Civil Rights

SC Gov. Nikki Haley in an interview with the Greenville (SC) News

SC Gov. Nikki Haley screen captured from footage of an interview with the Greenville (SC) News.

Why is it Tea Partiers are always raving on and on about the Constitution but they rarely, if ever, follow it? Remember when Governor Bobby Jindal hilariously tried to shred the Constitution when MoveOn exposed his deadly and pathetic refusal to expand Medicaid? That blew up in his face when a court sided with MoveOn and Jindal had to face political consequences of not just being a murderer, but a sourpuss Governor who can’t take criticism. Well now another Republican governor has just been smacked on the wrist for their unconstitutional acts. A federal appeals court ruled a few days ago on Monday that South Carolina’s own Governor Nikki Haley can be sued for violating the civil rights of Occupy Columbia protesters who she had removed from the Statehouse grounds and arrested back in 2011.

Because the protesters were annoying Mrs. Haley, she issued the Bureau of Protective Services to arrest the Occupy members on their camp sight who were on statehouse property past 6 p.m. The officers, on direct orders of Haley, placed zip ties on the wrists on the protesters, arrested them and subsequently took them to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. The case was taken to court last December. 

Circuit Judge Stephanie D Thacker wrote in her decision that:

“In light of the case law from this circuit and from the Supreme Court, it was clearly established on November 16, 2011, that arresting Occupy Columbia for protesting on State House grounds after 6:00 p.m. was a First Amendment violation.” 

“It is not disputed that South Carolina and its state officials could have restricted the time when the State House grounds are open to the public with a valid time, place, and manner restriction. However, as explained above, at the time of Occupy Columbia’s arrest, no such restrictions existed.”

The case was decided against Governor Haley because the court found that civil rights violations occurred because there was no regulation in place preventing camping on the Statehouse grounds. In other words: there was no law put into place saying what protesters could do and not do on the statehouse grounds. Haley just didn’t like them and their opinion, so she did what any Republican would do: had them arrested. It was noticed that just mere hours before she ordered the arrest, Haley complained of the sleeping bags and tent wear of the protesters. 

Haley, on the night of the arrests, made the protest issues particularly political when she took a stab at the protesters left-leaning views, saying:

“We go by the rule of law. We are not California, we are not New York, we are South Carolina and we believe in the respect of property and citizens.”

What rule of law? There was no law on the books, and the court determined that. Haley, not surprisingly, makes up her own rules when it benefits her. Typical Republican. And yeah, you respect them until they you have them arrested, blatantly assaulting their civil liberties because you and your ilk of seditious Republican friends don’t like their message.

And Governor, a word: No person above a 5th grade reading level is going to think South Carolina is California or New York. South Carolina is not within their class, and that is partly because of you. 

So please, Occupiers who were arrested, sue the Governor, and hammer her administration into submission. She broke the law (oh wait, there was none), and she violated your civil liberties. Stand up to her and bully tactics, and make her resign. Let’s just pray that South Carolina Occupy protesters will be getting a big lawsuit check from Tea Partier Haley and her corporate welfare right-wing rogue state.