US Protest Law Tracker
Methodology and Key Terms

The US Protest Law Tracker follows state and federal legislation introduced since January 2017 that restricts the right to peaceful assembly.

Legislation “restricts” peaceful protest rights where it includes provisions that constrain or narrow the means, methods, or venues used by individuals seeking to participate in or facilitate a peaceful protest. In determining whether a provision “restricts” the right to peaceful protest, we consider whether the provision could punish, deter, or limit the scope of peaceful protest activities, taking into account both the text of the initiative and its context.

Throughout the Tracker, “bill” refers to legislation that has not yet been signed into law; The “status” of a bill provides information on where it currently stands in the legislative or executive process. The four “statuses” used in the Tracker are:

  • Enacted: bills that have been enacted into law;
  • Enacted with improvements: bills that were enacted but with the original restrictions on the right to protest significantly minimized or removed;
  • Pending: bills that have not yet been enacted into law, whether because they have not yet been voted on by the legislature or because they await a governor’s or the President’s approval; and
  • Defeated or expired: bills that failed to pass into law, due to their failure to achieve the necessary number of votes by the relevant legislature, an executive branch veto, or their expiration at the end of a legislative term.

Note that the legislative sessions of state legislatures differs from state to state. Additional information on specific state legislative calendars can be found here.

The Tracker’s “Filter by” function can be used to locate legal initiatives introduced in the past month, 3 months, 6 months, or year. It can also be used to search for legal initiatives by the type of “issue” they involve (e.g., traffic interference, campus speech, infrastructure, trespass). Some bills and laws may involve more than one issue and are identified accordingly.

For more information about the Tracker, contact Elly Page at