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Lawmakers arrested at state capitol going before GA Supreme Court to challenge state law

ATLANTA — Two Georgia lawmakers arrested during separate protests at the State Capitol want the Georgia Supreme Court to rule those arrests unconstitutional.

Their attorneys argued the law is so vague, that almost anyone could get arrested if police want to.

Channel 2 Action News was there in 2018 when capitol police took then-state Sen. Nikema Williams into custody for a protest in the capitol rotunda.

“I’m being arrested because I refused to leave the floor,” Williams said at the time.

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Channel 2 Action News was also there when troopers arrested state Rep. Park Cannon for knocking on Gov. Brian Kemp’s office door.

Both were charged with causing a disruption of official meetings at the State Capitol.

Years later, attorneys for the lawmakers came before the Georgia Supreme Court arguing that the law under which they were arrested is so vague that almost anyone at or near the capitol could be arrested for almost any reason

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“We are challenging a statute that was, as written, would prevent speech at the Capitol if a Capitol police officer happened to think it was being disruptive,” defense attorney Gerry Weber said.

Attorneys for the state disagreed, saying people still have the right to free speech, just not to disrupt.

“The disruption statute simply reflects the nature of the building. It’s not about limiting anyone’s right to freedom of expression. People are free to express any viewpoint that they want no matter how unpopular,” attorney Ross Bergethon said.

The justices grilled the state over just how this law can be interpreted on the ground.

There is no word on when the justices could decide on the case.

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