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Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bill That Eliminated Some Discrimination Against Communist Party Members

Published on September 30, 2008, by in General.

Late on the evening of September 29, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 1322, which would have removed some of the old unconstitutional laws on the books that discriminate against present and past members of the Communist Party. However, his office has not yet put out a press release, so his veto message is not available yet. UPDATE: here is the veto message. It doesn’t even acknowledge that the laws sought to be repealed were held unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court in 1967.

Although SB 1322 was not an election law bill, it had ramifications for election law. California is one of six states that still has laws on the books barring Communists from running for office. If SB 1322 (which dealt with the education code) had become law, those election laws might have been easier to change.

11 Responses

  1. Jimmy

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger do the right things , we should not allow members of the Communist Party and Terrorist to work freely in America .

  2. Robert

    I support Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to veto the bill. Communism is not compatible with America’s democratic system. Ideology aside, we should think about this like a trade agreement. What nation in its sensible mind would enter an agreement that opens up its market for another country to sell while its own access to the latter country’s market is being denied? Communists around the world are still hostile to American’s values. Why should we import their values now?

  3. Richard

    The US Supreme Court in 1974 unanimously threw out an Indiana law that kept the Communist Party off the ballot. Even Justice Rehnquist voted against the law. The First Amendment requires that people not lose their civil rights because of their opinions. The California law is not compatible with America’s First Amendment.

  4. A great man once said “while there soul prison am not free.” So too, as long as our election laws exclude any party or point of view our elections are a sham. While I am no communist, those that rule(d) all of the so called “Communist” countries ensure that the party in power remained in power. How is that any different than what the Democratic and Republican Parties do? Either our elections are free and equal, or they are not. Those that say “free, except for…” or “equal, unless…” often want nothing more than themselves or their party to be the top dog, and care nothing for the democratic principles that, like the flag, they love to wrap themselves in.

  5. That should be “while there is a soul prison I am not free.”

  6. Andy

    There are already plenty of communists in government in California. They are called Democrats. Some of them are Republicans for that matter.

  7. Dave Gillespie

    Kudos to Richard and devalsoc for rescuing this thread from what threatened to become the dominant sentiment expressed on this matter. Ballot-access.org is, as I see it, a site devoted to opening our country to procedures that would make it truly the democracy that it claims to the world to be. It is almost beyond belief that some of its
    participants would endorse the actions, taken by
    the two parties in power, that have accomplished
    some of the same undemocratic things that one-party
    Communists brought about in the old USSR. And by the way, Gov. Schwarzenegger’s refusal to remove anti-democratic laws even though they have long been unenforceable puts California in a category comparable to the Southern states that for years refused to remove laws against interracial marriage and African American voter participation even though they could no longer enforce those laws.

  8. Robert

    Exact quote and source.
    … while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1918/court.htm

  9. eddy

    Robert wrote:
    “Communism is not compatible with America’s democratic system”
    I didn’t realize that excluding people from participating in government was considered democracy.

  10. kevin

    “we should not allow members of the Communist Party and Terrorist”

    1) There is no evidence that the Communist Party systematically committed acts of violence in the US. So don’t de-emphasize the magnitude of acts of terrorism by comparing the two.

    2)Freedom of Speech inherently means speech you don’t agree with or find outside of the mainstream. Authoritarians support freedom of speech that the Governator defines.

  11. Phil Sawyer

    As a person who has fairly recently applied to rejoin the Communist Party USA (after being away for twenty-six years), I must say that being called a terrorist (by any person) was not what I had hoped for.

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