Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs law barring protests outside of homes

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GIANNA ACETO
Photo by Gianna Aceto

Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed Monday to abortion-rights protests outside the houses of U.S. Supreme Court justices as he announced signing a measure intended to prevent picketing and protests outside people’s homes.

The bill (HB 1571), which was approved by state lawmakers in March and takes effect Oct. 1, will make it illegal to protest outside a person’s home “with the intent to harass or disturb that person in his or her dwelling.”

The bill will allow law-enforcement officers to charge people with second-degree misdemeanors if they do not peaceably disperse after being warned about protesting.

“Sending unruly mobs to private residences, like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.


Protests have occurred outside the homes of justices following the leak of a draft court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. In Florida, Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Crabb told a Senate committee in January about protests outside the North Port home of the parents of Brian Laundrie, who murdered his fiancee, Gabby Petito, in August before his body was later found along with a confession to the killing.

In February, Orange County Sheriff John Mina told a House panel about a group of an estimated 200 protesters who staged protests outside a residence in Windermere owned by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged in the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Chauvin was later convicted of killing Floyd. The death sparked nationwide protests over racial inequities in policing.



Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.
Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.