Federal Judge Rules Against Florida's Anti-Riot Law

Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an anti-riot bill into law. The law, HB 1 or "Combating Public Disorder," says that protests that become violent can be criminalized. Mob intimidation would be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor with a sentence of one year in prison while causing a riot could get protestors up to 15 years in prison.

Judging The Law

The ACLU and others immediately jumped on the bandwagon against the bill, saying it "specifically targets Black people, infringes on Floridians' First Amendment rights and 'deters and punishes peaceful protests.'"

They sued the state of Florida as well ad Governor De Santis. The lawsuit went before a federal judge. Recently, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled that the law was "unconstitutional" and "unenforceable."

According to WTVJ, Walker felt the law was too "vague and overbroad." He delivered his ruling in a 90-page decision.

A Rights Violation

Walker went on to say that the phrasing of the bill violated First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. It also violated people's right to due process.

He also considered that those who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time might be swept up in arrests if a protest became violent.

“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.”

Judge Mark Walker

He also said, "It, unfortunately, takes only a handful of bad actors to transform a peaceful protest into a violent public disturbance."

Stiff Opposition

The Florida NAACP, Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, Dream Defenders, and other groups said the law was created to prevent protesting from minority groups.

Proponents of the law and the governor's office disagreed with the governor's attorneys, arguing that a distinction was made between peaceful protests and riots.

But the judge did not agree with the governor's attorneys. He wrote, "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."

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59 comments on “Federal Judge Rules Against Florida's Anti-Riot Law”

  1. So they’re saying minorities can’t control themselves and peacefully protest something. And this doesn’t insult them?

    1. Well that’s what the groups listed are saying, I haven’t read the law so I can’t really make an informed decision about it either way, but it’s a pretty standard response from groups to steer public opinion because they know not many people will actually read the law before making a decision about it instead they will just accept what they’re told to believe and fall in line like sheep or lemmings.

  2. Oooo it's the black thing again ! If you can't control yourself than the police will , and of you defund the police than we will be forced to take actions against anyone who you believe means you harm .

  3. I THINK THE LAW IS A GREAT ONE! THIS DOES NOT TARGET ANYONE, EXCEPT THE RIOTERS! LOOK AT WHAT THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING TO THE GROUP THAT MET AT THE WHITEHOUSE! THEY ARE CONVICTION THEM! I DON'T HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT THE RIOTERS THAT DESTROYED BUILDINGS, STOLE PROPERTY, DESTROYED PROPERTY! THAT JUDGE NEEDS TO THINK ABOUT ALL OF THAT!

    1. Agree. RIOTERS. Loot, destroy businesses, burn businesses and homes, kill, They are not peaceful protestors. Big difference between the two and everyone knows that. Innocent citizens should not have to worry about rioters pulling them out of cars, destroying their businesses , their property, their lives. Citizens should not have to pay for all the police cars, police property , and other legal properties that the rioters destroy. Rioters should be punished severely and punished quickly .

  4. It seems the judge is a partisan hack and probably an Obama or Biden appointee!!! He was not worried about the rule of law, only preventing a dedicated governor from protecting his state and residents from suffering the same fate as those democratically run cities and states. Oregon Washington Minnesota, DC, NY etc.

  5. I think this judge is out of his mind in that you cannot tell peaceful v riots and property damage? just how stupid can you be not to know the difference?

  6. Very disheartening to hear what this Federal Judge Ruled! All it does is encourage more bad behavior, as the rioters/protestors know nothing will be done to stop them! Look at Portland, Oregon, for a prime example of what happens when the police are told to "Stand Down"! This is no doubt a political decision handed down by this judge, to appease one political group who disdains "The Rule Of Law"! Our country is becoming more and more "Socialist Like"! Very bad leadership today in America, we are being led down the wrong road, and we are seeing more serious problems because of it!

    1. You nailed it! the judge is in bed with them, who can not tell the difference between a peaceful protest and rioting, looting and, destruction of hard working peoples businesses and homes, as far as bystanders, most people will not stay where this is going on unless you are involved in some way. Our country is in the worst mess ever and the current administration's puppet has only been in stolen office for nine months, can we make it till 2024, I am not sure, but also wonder what they will have up their sleeves by then, we need to support our law enforcement, clean out these judges, and jail those involved in these crimes not just a slap on the wrist, real jail time, no bail for these types of crimes unless they can make restitution to those affected by their actions.

    2. Soros and the Zionist Rule This Country !! Even Biden said you don't have to be Jewish to be a Zionist This Judge is a pawn in their game of taking America and The West down .. We are the goyum !! and it has been decided by the cabal after World War 2 what would eventually happen to America !!

      1. Really? Last time I looked Biden barely had a brain cell left in his brain so whatever he says, even when he can complete a sentence, is not worthy of the time wasted listening to him. Soros (bad Jew) and the elite democrats are who are running this country. So please, get your head out from your behind and wise up. The cabal decided? Please, maybe you should read Nostradamus and see what he wrote about America - which looks pretty much on point.

    3. UnFortunately we have too many judges that are liberals and are making horrible decisions for our country and our people

  7. Unenforceable Violates Individual - - Hey Hey what about the Patriots still being held from Jan 6th. Again Democratic rule this applies to you but not to me.

  8. Florida is a state that is enacting laws that actually protect its citizens, and for a federal judge to make this decision that is so very wrong just enrages me. More of let them run riot with out consequences…we all saw too much of that “peaceful protesting.”

  9. The ACLU, this federal judge Mark Walker, the Florida NAACP, Black Lives Matter are way out of order on this Florida law. Anyone involved in any form of violence during a protest/riot should be arrested, charged and incarcerated for their violent crime/s no matter the color of their skin or their ethnicity. Basically what this judge and these groups are insisting is that it’s ok for people of color to act out violently and that they get a pass or should be the exception to the law or above the law. And there is what’s gone wrong in our society.

    1. I have to laugh when all these self righteous lefty's talk about all the black and brown people laws like these hurt. Have you really studied the riots?? I would suggest to you 75% of the participants are rich little white boys and girls who live in Mommy's basement and attend classes at Marxist run universities. Honestly what a bunch of hypocrites. Disgusting.

  10. Another example of why the current Federal Judicial system needs to be torn out by its roots and remade, from circuit courts to the DOJ.

  11. The "judge" conveniently omitted the word "peaceably" with assemble. Contrary to MSM narrative, the moment violence starts, it's no longer a peaceful protest.

  12. Here's an idea - let all the red states ban together and start the process of leaving the union. There may be enough states to pull it off. Texas is the only state that has the absolutely right to leave without .permission. Then those blue states can have the dictatorship they want and the red states can have the freedoms that were promised to us by our founding fathers and everyone can have the laws they want. They can form their own countries or band together to form a larger country. Details can be worked out. The upside is that since the USA will be out of business, the national debt is no longer owed so everyone starts out fresh, just like in bankruptcy law.

    1. Southern states have no need to secede. The country won't allow it. But that does not mean that all those anti-Amarican individuals have to stay. YOU can leave for whatever country you would like! Have a safe trip.

      1. My suggestion is that all those who thinks that Socialism is the way to go, move to Cuba. We will gladly trade you for the Cubans that are protesting their Socialist gov't. At least the Cubans would appreciate what America stands for & what it has to offer.

  13. The judge must like crime, burning of private property, attacking private citizens just walking down the street, etc. shame on him! Or her! Who owns the law? Used to be the people.

  14. Interesting that they did not apply the same thinking to the people that were just present in the protest at the Capitol. They were infiltrated by leftists and paid the price anyway and are still in prison without even a hearing or trial. Hypocrites! Tyrants.

  15. Governor DeSantis is not restricting peaceful protests that ARE ACTUALLY but those who that went on last year that the Democrats at all levels and all the news media except for a few like FOX that actually reported the truth are that they were RIOTS!!!!! You do have free speech in Florida so this lawsuit is a bunch of hogwash!!! GO Governor DESANTIS!!!!!

    1. Maybe we need to back the defund the police movement. It seems that ONLY conservatives are arrested when protecting their property/lives. and the ones threatening them are given a pass by the cops and courts.

      defund the police so we don't have to worry about being arrested for protecting ourselves.

  16. Who appointed Judge Walker? Obama? Clinton? What a great example for the young people of the country! Attack people, burn cars, put small business out of business?? Who cares?? This liberal judge?? Not so you would notice!
    This one needs to retire. Get a new job. Dg ditches!

  17. WOW this is a totally different stance to that taken re: the January 6th peaceful protest marred by terrorist infiltrators and poor security and law enforcement handling. Let this great law stand and fight it out on a case by case basis in courts after arrests.
    Meanwhile release prisoners held for months without trial from that 01/06 protest!

  18. The true American People believe Law and Order . There is nothing wrong with peaceful demonstrating and nothing wrong with talking about a problem the people of a town or city is having . But to riot and loot , destroy people’s property , destroy police cars and burn a city up , kill people is totally wrong . Defund the police , take law abiding citizens guns away , that make no sense to me . In other words it’s totally ass backwards . Most people are tired of these liberal scumbag rules and thinking . I think a Civil War is coming and it WILL all get straightened out . Dictator Biden has to be removed from office also . I just can’t believe what is happening in Our Country . Some want it to become a communist country , I don’t think so !

  19. When one of these judges make these irresponsible, unconstitutional decisions, everything in the citizens power should be done to get them removed. Let everyone know his name, Judge MARK WALKER, a political hack doing the bidding of the corrupt, liberal party in power. Watch his every move and decision. He is no innocent citizen making bad decisions. He is one of them bringing down our country.

  20. I hope Ron DeSantis keeps on fighting for the good .Sounds like something an Ohbama judge would come up with for an excuse though.

  21. To let this stand allows for a peaceful protest to be disturbed by Antifa type dissidents and everyone else gets blamed too, like what happened Jan 6 in DC. Correct how the law is worded, make it Constitutional. Uphold our freedoms. Take more time and effort to do government in agreement with our Constitution.

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