US Protest Law Tracker

The US Protest Law Tracker follows state and federal legislation introduced since January 2017 that restricts the right to peaceful assembly. For more information, visit our Analysis of US Anti-Protest Bills page.

45 states have
considered
270 bills
42 enacted 15 pending

No initiatives
Pending, defeated or expired initiatives
Enacted initiatives

Legislation

Latest updates: Oct. 26, 2023 (Florida), Sep. 25, 2023 (Oregon), Jun. 21, 2023 (North Carolina)
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Utah

SB 173: Criminal penalties for protests that disturb legislative or other government meetings

Creates new potential penalties for individuals protesting convenings of the legislature or other meetings of government officials. The law expands "disorderly conduct" to include a person who recklessly causes public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm by making "unreasonable noises" at an official meeting or in a private place that can be heard at an official meeting. "Disorderly conduct" also includes obstructing pedestrian traffic at an official meeting or refusing to leave an official meeting when asked by law enforcement. The law also increases the penalty for disorderly conduct, such that it is punishable by a $750 fine on the first offense (an infraction), up to 3 months in jail if a person was warned to cease prohibited conduct (Class C misdemeanor), up to 6 months for a second offense (Class B misdemeanor), and up to 1 year for a third offense (Class A misdemeanor). Accordingly, the law could, for example, be used to penalize silent protesters who refuse to leave a legislative committee meeting. An earlier version of the bill explicitly made it unlawful to commit even a "single, loud outburst, absent other disruptive conduct, that does not exceed five seconds in length." (See full text of bill here)

Status: enacted

Introduced 24 Feb 2020; Approved by Senate 5 March 2020; Approved by House 12 March 2020; Signed by Governor 30 March 2020

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For more information about the Tracker, contact Elly Page at EPage@icnl.org.