Boquist files federal suit against Oregon Dems

Politics
Brian Boquist

State Sen. Brian Boquist reads a statement on Monday, July 8, 2019, to the Senate special committee on conduct in Salem, Ore. An independent investigator told the Oregon Senate committee Monday that Boquist’s threats against state police and the Senate president created an unsafe work environment and suggested he be at least temporarily banned from the Capitol. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Alleging Oregon Democrats violated his constitutional rights, Republican State Senator Brian Boquist filed a federal lawsuit against Senate President Peter Courtney and other leaders.

The lawsuit follows a bipartisan special committee’s unanimous decision that Boquist, who threatened Courtney and Oregon State Police troopers on June 19, must give at least 12 hours notice in writing if he intends to come to the Capitol and that state troopers beef up their presence while he is in the building.

In addition, Boquist was advised that he must not retaliate against anyone who reports concerns about their safety.

The 4-person committee — 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans — passed the motion at the close of a July 8 hearing into the senator’s conduct. The hearing, packed with spectators, was held after Boquist made threats before Republican senators fled the Capitol to protest climate legislation.

The threat

Brian Boquist
An Oregon state trooper stands guard as Oregon State Republican Sen. Brian Boquist waits with his wife,Peggy Boquist, to walk onto the Senate floor Sunday, June 30, 2019 in Salem, Ore. (AP Photo/Sarah Zimmerman)

Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, warned on June 19 that if the Oregon State Police were sent to force him to return during the GOP walkout they should “send bachelors and come heavily armed.” He also told Senate President Courtney that “hell is coming to visit you personally” if he sent the state police after him, but apologized minutes later for his comments.

At the end of the hearing Boquist said he would take the matter to the courts.

The lawsuit

Boquist claims his constitutional rights under the 1st, 5th and 14th amendments were violated.

His right to the freedom of assembly was violated by forcing him to give notice when he goes to the Capitol. The decision to send OSP troopers to round up the wayward Republicans and fine them $500 a day for failing to show up violated his right to due process.

Boquist already paid the $3500 fine imposed for not showing up for work during the legislative session.

Read: Federal lawsuit filed by State Sen. Brian Boquist

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