A Bill to Stop Mitch Kahle?
Two bills before the Hawaii Legislature would make it a misdemeanor to show disrespect to either the state House or Senate.
Senate Bill 3026 and House Bill 2751, which are identical, would create an "offense of disrespect" of the House and Senate for "disorderly or contemptuous behavior" by a person who is not a member of the Legislature.
That behavior includes "making loud, boisterous, or incessant shouts" and "refusing to be or to remain seated on orders from the sheriff or sergeant-at-arms."
Civil Beat has left messages with Senate President Shan Tsutsui and House Speaker Calvin Say, who introduced the measures in their respective chamber, to find out what prompted the legislation. (See Say's response below. UPDATED)
But activist Mitch Kahle, head of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church, calls SB 3026 the "Stop Mitch Kahle Bill."
He may be onto something.
That's because Kahle has had his run-ins with the Legislature, including an incident in April 2010 in which Kahle was physically ejected from the Senate chamber after objecting to a prayer at the opening of Senate business.