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The Right To Mass Protest In Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas Is Abolished By The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has opted not to review the Mckesson v. Doe case, leaving a lower court's decision intact. This ruling poses significant risks for protest organizers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. If any protest attendee engages in illegal activity, the organizer could face severe financial consequences.

This case centered around DeRay Mckesson, a notable Black Lives Matter activist who organized a protest in Baton Rouge in 2016 following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling. During this protest, an attendee injured a police officer by throwing a rock. Although Mckesson did not throw the rock, the decision challenges the precedent set by NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, where the Supreme Court ruled that protest leaders are not liable for participants' actions unless they directly incite or approve such actions.

The Fifth Circuit's decision against McKesson could discourage anyone from organizing protests due to the risk of being held accountable for the uncontrollable actions of others. Justice Sonia Sotomayor highlighted the robust First Amendment protections that should shield organizers like McKesson, but the recent ruling complicates these protections. The decision could theoretically extend liability to organizers for actions by any attendee, dramatically chilling the willingness to organize any large gatherings, particularly those involving advocacy or protest. This situation may change if the Supreme Court reevaluates this issue in future cases. For now, however, the ruling stands, potentially transforming the landscape of protest and free speech in parts of the United States.

While the Supreme Court's decision is deeply troubling, it is not the final word on this matter. We must continue to advocate for the preservation of our fundamental rights and push for a reevaluation of this issue in future cases. The fight for justice and freedom of expression is far from over, and we stand in solidarity with all those who courageously resist oppression and demand accountability from those in power.

Link: VOX


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