Boring but important
GOP anti-protest bills
Republican lawmakers have pushed legislation to curb protesting in at least 18 states in the wake of President Trump’s election, in what civil liberties experts describe as a growing attack on First Amendment rights. In Iowa, Minnesota, Virginia, and elsewhere, legislators have introduced or voted on bills that would increase punishments for blocking highways; ban protesters from wearing masks; or exempt motorists from liability if they hit demonstrators with their vehicles. An Arizona bill would have punished organizers of protests that turn violent with racketeering charges, a measure needed to tackle “quasi-professional agent-provocateurs,” said State Sen. John Kavanagh. The legislation was killed this week following complaints from voters.