Saturday, November 14, 2015

Kansas Bill of Rights - Sections 3, 2 & 20

At various times, when addressing the Shawnee city council I have had to remind some of their members of Section 3 of the Kansas Bill of Rights.  This has usually come up when some members who profess to support open government, actually try to suppress it (i.e. restrict input by citizens, not wanting full minutes of meetings etc.)

For those not familiar with Section 3, it is quoted below (highlights and underlining mine): 

§ 3. Right of peaceable assembly; petition. The people have the right to assemble, in a peaceable manner, to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, for the redress of grievances.

Now I think it is time to remind certain members of the council about Section 2 of the Bill of Rights of the Kansas State Constitution.  Mainly because some on the council seem to think that they "are above the citizens" of the city and this might entitle them to certain privileges.

§ 2. Political power; privileges. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and are instituted for their equal protection and benefit. No special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted by the legislature, which may not be altered, revoked or repealed by the same body; and this power shall be exercised by no other tribunal or agency.

This is not to say that the council has attempted to grant any special privileges to themselves or any members, it is just to say that some members seem to think that they have special privileges.

There are 20 sections to the State's Bill of Rights.............I just love Section 20

§ 20. Powers retained by people. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to impair or deny others retained by the people; and all powers not herein delegated remain with the people.