Subversive? Don’t Forget to Register!

I first heard, a couple of days ago, that the state of South Carolina had passed a law requiring all subversive and terrorist organizations to register with the state.   At the time, I thought it was just a joke aimed at the rather right-wing politics of the state.

However, it appears to be true.  The Web site of the SC legislature has the text of the “Subversive Activities Registration Act”, (SC Code of Laws Title 23, Chapter 29), which provides, in Section 23-29-60, that:

Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him.

The Secretary of State has produced a registration form; it is supposed to be filed, with a $5 registration fee, within 30 days of setting up shop in South Carolina.  (The state is to be commended for keeping the fee so reasonable.  It is only right that indigent subversives should have a fair shot, as it were.)   As a public service, here is a download link for the form (PDF), from the SC Secretary of State’s Web site.

I’m sure this will act as a powerful deterrent to potential terrorists.  They might be willing to hide from Predator drone strikes, and blow themselves up, but get in trouble with the South Carolina Secretary of State?  Not so fast, Abdullah!

(It also occurs to me that it’s a shame there wasn’t a similar law on the books around about 1860.  But you do have to admit that the folks in South Carolina know something about trying to overthrow the US government by force.)

Bruce Schneier, in his blog post about this, had a brief comment:

Wow, is that idiotic or what?

So just remember, before you start planning your Palmetto State jihad, to send in your form and $5 — otherwise, you gonna be in a heap a trouble.

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