Lawsuit challenging Florida anti-riot law allowed to continue

A federal judge has refused to toss out a legal challenge to a controversial new law that creates a host of crimes and enhances existing penalties for protests that turn violent or block traffic, a priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis during this year’s legislative session.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Monday allowed the lawsuit filed by a coalition of groups including the Dream Defenders to proceed, leaving DeSantis and three sheriffs as defendants but dismissing Attorney General Ashley Moody from the case.

Walker’s 72-page order came after Moody, DeSantis and the sheriffs — Walt McNeil of Leon County, Mike Williams of Jacksonville and Gregory Tony of Broward County — asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. The defendants argued, among other things, that the plaintiffs lacked standing and the legal issues weren’t “ripe” enough to be considered by the court.

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As 'Anti-Riot' Laws Pass, Legal Challenges Grow

Police arrested Black Lives Matter protesters in Columbus Ohio last summer. A few months later, state lawmakers proposed a bill that would have created stiff penalties for protesters who block traffic, and create affirmative defenses for people who harm or kill “rioters.” The bill failed, but similar legislation is still […]

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