A new bill passed by the Florida Senate and proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis will give people civil immunity for running over protesters.
The Orlando Sentinel reported, “The parts of the bill (HB 1 ) that most upset Democrats grant civil legal immunity to people who drive through protesters blocking a road; prevent people arrested for rioting or offenses committed during a riot from bailing out of jail until their first court appearance, and impose a six-month mandatory sentence for battery on a police officer during a riot.”
People could still be criminally charged for taking their car and mowing down protesters who are using their First Amendment rights, but in Florida, the driver will no be able to be sued for civil damages.
Florida Republicans claim that they are preventing violence by denying protesters bail and allowing them to be run down, but almost every protest in the country is peaceful. The few that make it onto television are the ones that feature violence.
The bill is an attack on the First Amendment by a governor who has 2024 presidential ambitions and is willing to encourage having protesters hit with cars if it gives him a boost in the Republican presidential primary field.
It is hard to imagine this law making it through the court system without being overturned. Civil immunity for running down protesters takes the Republican attack on the First Amendment to a new level of deadly.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association