Oh, that is what they are doing. We wondered why Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Governor Gregg Abbott were tearing up our U.S. Constitution left and right, trashing up the floor wherever they continue to go. Now it makes sense. They have anointed themselves as the founding fathers of this harsh, cruel new dictatorship called Trumpistan.
They are trying to shape this more restricted, barbarous reality working in the guise of the new:
‘George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, and Benjamin Franklin designed the democratic government of the United States and left a legacy that has shaped the world.’
DeSantis signed into Florida law, the Anti-Riot Law after the George Floyd Protests. But a judge just blocked it. The gov claimed that this was the solution to tamp down violent protests in his state, White supremacy groups notwithstanding. Of course, it is unconstitutional, but that was okay in Trumpistan.
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee wrote the 90-page decision describing this law as “vague and overbroad.” Indeed, it truly was an assault on the Constitution’s due process protections. He wrote that there could be peaceful innocent protesters swirled away in a violent stream under this law, and they could end up looking into the eyes of criminal charges and stiff penalties. And that would be wrong.
At issue was the attempt to define “riot” in the statute. Judge Walker pointed out that their new state’s law “could threaten segregationist Jim Crow-era practices,” NPR reported:
‘If this court does not enjoin the statute’s enforcement, the lawless actions of a few rogue individuals could effectively criminalize the protected speech of hundreds, if not thousands, of law-abiding Floridians. It unfortunately takes only a handful of bad actors to transform a peaceful protest into a violent public disturbance.’
DeSantis claimed his state would take its case to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The gov claimed that the judge had drawn a “foreordained conclusion:”
‘I guarantee you we’ll win that on appeal.’
The lawsuit was filed against DeSantis and other state officials by the “NAACP Florida Conference, Dream Defenders, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, and other groups who argued that the law appears was aimed directly at protests by Black people and other minorities.”
DeSantis signed the measure into law under a Republican-dominated state legislature in April, the Associated Press (AP) reported. It was in reaction to demonstrations around the country following last year’s killing by Minneapolis police of George Floyd, a Black man. His death moved people of all races and religions, into forming the Black Lives Matter movement.
The plaintiff groups and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida just issued a joint statement commending the judge’s decision:
‘[The law] appears designed to target those who protest police violence. As states around the country threaten to pass similar legislation, today’s decision serves as a powerful reminder that such unjust and unconstitutional efforts cannot stand.’
State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is the Democratic contender who has also been running for governor. She called the law “dangerous and discriminatory.” In a statement, she wrote that Walker’s ruling showed that the governor’s continued attempts to bully his opponents into silence were “unconstitutional.”
The governor’s lawyers argued that they were attempting to draw the fine line between a “violent riot” and a “peaceful protest.” The judge wrote, according to NBC Miami:
“Because it is unclear whether a person must share an intent to do violence and because it is unclear what it means to participate.’
‘the statute can plausibly be read to criminalize continuing to protest after violence occurs, even if the protestors are not involved in, and do not support, the violence. The statute can also be read to criminalize other expressive activity, like remaining at the scene of a protest turned violent to film the police reaction.’
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