US Protest Law Tracker
The US Protest Law Tracker, part of ICNL’s US Program, follows initiatives at the state and federal level since November 2016 that restrict the right to protest. For information about our methodology, click here.
31 states have
considered 64 bills
9 enacted 2 enacted with
improvements 8 pending 45 defeated or
Pending, defeated or expired initiatives
Legislation and executive orders
Latest updates: Oct. 29, 2018 (Pennsylvania), Aug. 22, 2018 (Virginia), Jul. 12, 2018 (US Federal)
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SB 350: Mandatory sanctions for campus protesters
Would create mandatory disciplinary sanctions that could be applied to peaceful protesters on college and university campuses. The bill requires community and public colleges to prohibit and subject to sanction any “protests or demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity” on campus. The bill requires that college administrators suspend for at least one year or expel any student who is twice “found responsible for infringing on the expressive rights of others,” for instance through a protest or demonstration. (See full text of bill here)
Introduced 2 May 2017.
Issue(s): campus speech
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HB 4643: Heightened penalties for picketing and protesting
Would have dramatically increased penalties for picketing and protesting, and made it easier for a court to order that a demonstration cease. Under the bill, individuals who return to a disruptive demonstration already blocked by a court would face fines of up to $1,000 per day, with unions or other groups liable to up to $10,000 per day. The bill allows employers or others affected by mass picketing to bring an action against the demonstrators in local circuit court. It also lowers the threshold required for a court to order picketers and protesters to stop demonstrating. Under the bill, employers can obtain injunctive relief in some cases. (See full text of bill here)
Status: defeated / expired
Introduced 29 Nov 2016; Failed in committee
For more information about the Tracker, contact Elly Page at EPage@icnl.org.