“The so-called ‘Riot Boosting’ Act was clearly intended to suppress constitutionally-protected, peaceful protests of the Keystone XL pipeline.”
Environmentalists celebrated Wednesday after a federal court temporarily blocked enforcement of a recently enacted South Dakota law that aims to hit pipeline protesters with fines and up to 25 years in prison.
Legal experts and green groups have decried the law, officially titled the Riot Boosting Act, as a flagrant violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution that was obviously targeted at Keystone XL opponents.
“The so-called ‘Riot Boosting’ Act was clearly intended to suppress constitutionally-protected, peaceful protests of the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Stephen Pevar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU, which filed suit to stop the law from taking effect. “We’re glad the court recognized that these vague and overbroad laws threaten the First Amendment rights of South Dakotans on every side of the issue.”
South Dakota is one of several Republican-controlled states to pass legislation in recent months to criminalize pipeline protests. In June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed in to law a measure that would hit pipeline protesters with up to a decade in prison.
As Common Dreams reported in June, the Trump administration is also looking to punish anti-pipeline demonstrations at the federal level.
In his ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol wrote: “Imagine that if these riot boosting statutes were applied to the protests that took place in Birmingham, Alabama, what might be the result? Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference could have been liable under an identical riot boosting law.”
BREAKING: South Dakota’s riot law enacted to target protesters of the Dakota Pipeline has been found UNCONSTITUTIONAL! this is a major initial victory in our fight against anti-protest laws. https://t.co/4LriYJf9lU
— Nora Benavidez (@AttorneyNora) September 18, 2019
Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network applauded the court’s decision as “a good step in protecting our right to organize, educate, and promote a sustainable future for all generations of life.”
“As Dakota,” said Goldtooth, “it is our duty to protect the land and water, and speaking up on behalf of these sacred elements is essential to that endeavor.”
Stephen Colbert rips ‘idiot’ GOP senator for defending Trump’s unconstitutional self-dealing
"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert returned from New Zealand for a new show that aired Monday evening.
"I have been as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet.
I've heard there have been some developments over the last 10 days that did not go well for Donnie,"
The host ripped Trump's 71-minute press conference.
"Seventy-one minutes is not a press conference, it's a one man show," he explained. "If you liked 'Fleabag,' you'll love Donald Trump in 'Douchebag,'" he said.
[caption id="attachment_1555275" align="aligncenter" width="800"] ‘The Late Show’ graphic (screengrab)[/caption]
Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him
Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.
In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.
The faith of Fox News: How the network’s propaganda warps viewers’ sense of reality
A longtime sticking point among Fox News employees is their insistent differentiation between its news division, where employees practice actual journalism, and its opinion division, where employees practice actual nativism, spew misinformation, and have been actively campaigning for Donald Trump’s re-election since 2016. Inside the organization, they claim to believe that the news side is separate from the opinion side, and insist that the audience can tell the difference.
News anchor Shepard Smith once characterized comparing the two as “apples and teaspoons.”