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Florida’s “Rebellion” Act Blocked by Federal Judges: NPR

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Republican Governor Ron DeSantis defended Florida’s new “anti-riot” law as a way to quell violent protests, which is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Malta Lavandie / AP


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Malta Lavandie / AP

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Republican Governor Ron DeSantis defended Florida’s new “anti-riot” law as a way to quell violent protests, which is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

Malta Lavandie / AP

NS. Petersburg, Florida — Republican Governor Ron DeSantis defended Florida’s new “anti-riot” law as a way to quell violent protests, which is unconstitutional and unenforceable, a federal judge said Thursday. Judged.

A 90-page ruling by Judge Mark Walker of the US District Court in Tallahassee found that the recently enacted law was “ambiguous and widespread,” free speech, first amendment to the assembly, and due process of the Constitution. Equivalent to an attack on protection by.

People engaged in peaceful protests and innocence in the same area when the protests became violent could face criminal accusations and severe penalties, judges said.

An important issue is to define what the word “riot” means by law. Walker said past Florida law sought to prevent demonstrations that could threaten racist Jim Crow-era practices.

“If this court does not prohibit law enforcement, the lawless behavior of a small number of fraudulent individuals will be effective in the protected speech of Floridian, who will comply with the law of hundreds, if not thousands, of them. Can be a crime, “Walker wrote.

“Unfortunately, it takes only a handful of villains to turn peaceful protests into violent public turmoil,” the judge added.

DeSantis said during his appearance in New Port Richey that the state would file a proceeding with the Atlanta-based 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals. The governor called Walker’s decision a “predetermined conclusion” and said he would frequently win when appealing the orders of the Tallahassee judge.

“We guarantee that we will win the appeal,” said DeSantis.

Desantis and other state authorities claim that the proceedings are specifically aimed at stopping protests by the NAACP Florida Conference, Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, and blacks and other minorities. Was raised against.

The bill was passed earlier this year by a Republican-led parliament, Signed the law in April By the governor. It was a reaction to a national demonstration after the Minneapolis police killed a black man, George Floyd, last year, arousing a national passion under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement.

A group of plaintiffs and the American Civil Liberties Union in Florida said the law “seems to be designed to target people protesting police violence,” and issued a joint statement praising the decision.

“As states across the country threaten to pass similar legislation, today’s decision serves as a strong reminder that such unjustified and unconstitutional efforts are intolerable,” the statement said.

Democratic Party Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for governor, called the law “dangerous and discriminatory,” and Walker’s ruling said “attempts by the governor to strongly arm and silence the enemy are unconstitutional. Is. “

The governor’s lawyer argues that the law continues to allow peaceful protests, but is an effort to clearly distinguish it from violent riots. Walker found the argument unconvincing.

“It is a crime to continue protesting after the violence, even if the protesters are not involved, because it is unclear whether people must share the intention to commit violence and the meaning of participating. You can read the law, which does not support violence, “Walker wrote. “This law can also be read to criminalize other expressive activities, such as staying at the scene of a protest that became violent to film police reactions.”

The law, also known as HB1, strengthens penalties for crimes committed during riots or violent protests. This allows authorities to detain arrested protesters until they appear in the first court and establish a new felony to organize or participate in violent demonstrations.

You will also be punished with up to 10 years in prison for destroying or destroying monuments, ornaments, flags, paintings, structures and other objects commemorating historical figures and events. ..

In addition, the bill requires local governments to justify reductions in law enforcement budgets.

Florida’s “Rebellion” Act Blocked by Federal Judges: NPR

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