US Protest Law Tracker

The US Protest Law Tracker, part of ICNL's US Program, follows initiatives at the state and federal level since January 2017 that restrict the right to peaceful assembly. For information about our methodology, click here.

45 states have
considered
229 bills
36 enacted 53 pending

No initiatives
Pending, defeated or expired initiatives
Enacted initiatives

Legislation and executive orders

Latest updates: Jul. 22, 2021 (Massachusetts), Jul. 16, 2021 (Missouri), Jul. 12, 2021 (Alabama)
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3 entries found matching the provided filters.
Michigan

HB 6269: Revoking Public Benefits of those Charged during "Civil Unrest"

Would revoke public assistance benefits for one year for someone who is "charged with looting, vandalism, or a violent crime in relation to or stemming from civil unrest." "Civil unrest" is defined to include simply unlawfully blocking a sidewalk or roadway or an unlawful assembly. "Violent crime" is defined broadly to include "intimidation, threat, or coercion." As such, a nonviolent protester who was charged, but not convicted, of making a threat or being intimidating at a protest could lose their public assistance, including medical and food assistance from the state. The bill further requires that if the person has their child with them when they are charged with a covered crime that the individual will be reported to child protective services. (See full text of bill here)

Status: defeated / expired

Introduced 29 Sep 2020.

Issue(s): riot, limit on public benefits

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Michigan

HB 4436: New limits on campus protests

Would impose new limits on protests at public colleges and universities. The bill would require all public institutions of higher education to adopt a policy prohibiting protests and demonstrations that "substantially and materially infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity," and make protesters involved in such assemblies "subject to sanction." As a result, protests in public areas of campus that, for instance, made it difficult to hear a speech, would be banned and its participants liable to penalties. The policy would apply not only to students and faculty but any other person "lawfully present on campus." (See full text of bill here)

Status: defeated / expired

Introduced 9 Apr 2019.

Issue(s): campus speech

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Michigan

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)

Status: defeated / expired

Introduced 2 May 2017.

Issue(s): campus speech

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For more information about the Tracker, contact Elly Page at EPage@icnl.org.