Florida courts tussling with constitutionality of new protest law

The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is seeking the help of the Florida Supreme Court in deciding when protests turn into rioting under the Combating Public Disorder Act. The appeals court wants some clarification before deciding if the law violates the First Amendment. (Miami New Times, January 11, 2023, by Naomi Feinstein)

Backed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the law stimulated that a person is guilty of rioting if one “willfully participates in a violent public disturbance involving an assembly of three or more persons” who are “acting with a common intent to assist each other in violent and disorderly conduct; resulting in injury to another person, damage to property or imminent danger of injury to another person or damage to property.” A federal district judge found the law could restrict protesters in communicating with others and was vague so to empower “law enforcement officers to exercise their authority in arbitrary and discriminatory ways.” (Courthouse News Service, January 10, 2023, by Megan Butler)

For related FAC coverage click here, here and here.