Picketing or protesting outside someone’s home is now banned in Florida, according to Governor Ron DeSantis.
On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1571 into law, making it unlawful to protest outside a person’s home, first with a warning and eventually an arrest if the individual does not peacefully disperse.
The offense will be classified as a second-degree misdemeanor.
The bill signing in Florida comes after three U.S. Protests began to gather outside the homes of Supreme Court justices. Following the revelation of a draft opinion suggesting the nation’s highest court was on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a judgment that would lead to numerous states banning or restricting abortions, federal protests erupted.
In a report by the Associated Press, county leaders in Fairfax County, Virginia, have asked Virginia’s governor to construct a security perimeter around the homes of Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, and Clarence Thomas due to protestors outside their homes.
Back in Florida, Gov. DeSantis said in a statement “sending unruly mobs to private residences as we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate.”
“This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities and I am glad to sign it into law,” he added.
The Florida bill, on the other hand, was passed months before the leaked draft was discovered. Sen. Keith Perry, a Republican, introduced the Senate version of the bill in January.
Anti-masking protests at a school board member’s home and protests at Brian Laundrie’s parents’ home were presented as examples during a committee meeting, while Perry said the law was motivated by multiple incidents.
“This bill recognizes the right of privacy, safety and peace that we all deserve in our homes,” Perry said at the time, adding that the bill does not prevent marches and other mobile demonstrations.
Law enforcement will issue a warning to protestors and picketers outside a person’s home after the law takes effect. Those who do not leave after being warned may be arrested.
The draft does not represent the final stance of any of the court’s members, according to the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.
Florida’s law will take effect on Oct. 1, 2022.
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