Democratic lawmakers from across Florida are pushing back against Gov. Ron DeSantis’s proposals to combat violent protests. And at least one legal analyst says the plans could have problems standing up in court. The lawmakers, who organized a virtual news conference Tuesday, say the proposed laws aren’t necessary.
Criminal defense attorney Jonathan Rose said the state doesn’t have the legal right to tell cities how they can spend their money.
“They can’t dictate to local municipalities and counties how they allocate their own tax money for the various things they need to pay for,” said Rose. “They just can’t do that.”
“This entire thing seems to be designed to chill your First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly,” said Rose.
The proposed legislation is aimed at cracking down on disorderly protest.
But Rose said what’s considered “disorderly” is too broad.
“First of all I don’t know how you define violent,” he said. “Second, disorderly generally means that your conduct offends people who see it.”
“This has First Amendment problems all over it,” said Rose.
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