April 2, 2015 8:00 am -


There was good news from Arkansas late Wednesday as the House and Senate passed two different religious freedom bills that would replace the now notorious HB1228, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) wisely sent back to the legislature earlier in the day.

This pair of older bills were stripped of their original language and replaced with text similar to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA). The federal law is generally agreed-upon as disallowing any form of discrimination and only allows action against the government. The old Arkansas bill and the infamous Indiana RFRA not only consider corporations of all sizes as having First Amendment rights, but those bills also allow those “persons” to use the RFRA as a defense against other people, not just the government. The new Arkansas language ostensibly doesn’t contain any such provisions. Ostensibly.

What’ll happen from here is that HB1228 will be replaced with one of the two new bills. A veto of HB1228 won’t be required since Arkansas code allows the governor to simply “refer” a bill back to the legislature with corrections. Consequently, there probably not much of a concern that HB1228 will automatically become law after five days, not unlike a controversial discrimination-related law that passed earlier in the year that Hutchinson refused to sign but which became law after five days anyway.

Still, it’s difficult to say whether the new legislation won’t be amended with appropriate bits and pieces from the old bill. So, probably “cautiously optimistic” is correct posture for now.

Isn’t parliamentary wonkery fun?

Meanwhile, another RFRA was introduced in the North Carolina legislature that, again, is almost exactly like the Indiana RFRA and the referred-back Arkansas bill.

But this one is a lot worse. In the MEMBERS ONLY section of The Daily Banter on Wednesday, we discussed one of the ways in which the Indiana and Arkansas laws differed from the federal RFRA. One of the differences is… CONTINUE READING



D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

5 responses to Good News: The Arkansas Religious Freedom Bill Is Dead. Bad News: A Worse Bill In North Carolina Is On The Way.

  1. rg9rts April 2nd, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Is there a pool for how long this one lasts???

  2. Budda April 2nd, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Conservatives are over playing their hands. Hope they keep it up through 2016

  3. granpa.usthai April 2nd, 2015 at 10:05 am

    ah yes, North Karolina, the rusted buckle of the ‘bible belt’. Where the kristians could kare less how many ‘HOLY LIES’ it takes to push there injured workers under the bridges (out of sight-out of mind) just so long as they APPEAR to be ‘religious’.


    thanks, LYING krisitans of NC, you, no doubt will be immortalized as the cornerstone of the reason for Revelation 18!

  4. Suzanne McFly April 2nd, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Is it just me or does it seem like there was a dumbassery convention where all these idiotic policies were drafted and someone had the bright idea of voting on them so they could become law in a sort of domino sequence. Well it backfired cause they are getting shut down in a domino sequence.

    • Foundryman April 2nd, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      That’s exactly how they organize policy agendas. From union busting to vote suppression to attacking social security and gay rights…they are constantly in contact with the national republican party headquarters who decides what they will railroad through next.