🚫 States are proposing a bevy of anti-protest laws
Speaking of laws that could one day make it to the Supreme Court…
A bunch of states are proposing legal protections for drivers who hit protesters with their cars.
Seriously, Oklahoma’s governor just signed a major bill about this: It says a driver is not liable if they strike and even kill someone if they are “fleeing from a riot” if there was a reasonable belief they had to flee to avoid injury or death.
Other states are going the civil route: Florida and Iowa have passed bills that shelter drivers who hit protesters from lawsuits.
The backdrop for the bills
All this is happening a year after millions of people engaged in protests after the death of George Floyd, the vast majority of which were peaceful and featured few injuries. The bills are also coming out just a few years after highly-publicized incidents of drivers striking protesters, most notably in Charlottesville in 2017. And, as Vox points out, there’s even a Wikipedia page for entries of Floyd-related protesters being hit by cars.
There are other wild anti-protest bills circulating in state legislatures this year, many of which have no chance of passing. For example, a Minnesota lawmaker proposed a bill that would make anyone convicted of a crime at a protest ineligible for state forms of assistance like student loans and unemployment.