Louisiana Approves Legislation Targeting Civil Disobedience in Campus Protests

Photo by Michael Marsh on Unsplash

(ConservativeHub.com) – Last week, Louisiana approved a law that attempts to address the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have erupted in colleges across the state. 

Gov. Jeff Landry (R) signed Senate Bill 294 which clarifies that free speech protections do not apply to acts punishable by a criminal penalty in the state. Under the law, campus free-speech policies will not supply civil disobedience protection. 

The bill was introduced by GOP state senator Valarie Hodges, who argued that what college campuses need is education rather than activism. Both college faculty and students have opposed the law as they argue that it is not the answer. They argue it criminalizes free speech that would have otherwise been protected. 

Loyola University of New Orleans professor Pablo Zavala argued during the committee hearing on the Senate Bill that just because there were people who disagreed with what the students were protesting about, that does not mean that lawmakers can take away their rights. 

The law also excludes protections for any activities by a group or individual who is knowingly receiving funding from an entity or individual that the United States Department of State has characterized as a foreign adversary or terrorist organization. 

Hodges repeatedly talked during the introduction of the bill about the pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses. During a committee hearing, she argued that the bill provides free speech protection while also blocking pro-terrorist activity from taking place on college campuses. 

The pro-Palestinian college campus demonstrations in the state have for the most part been peaceful, The Hill reported.

Copyright 2024, ConservativeHub.com