Federal Appeals Court Undercuts First Amendment Protest Rights

August 6, 2023 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography

 Via The Brennan Center for Justice

August, 2023

A federal appeals court recently ruled that a protest leader can be sued for injuries caused by a different protester during a demonstration, even when the leader did not direct, encourage, or even approve of the actions involved. The 2–1 decision in the case, Doe v. Mckesson, manufactured a legal loophole large enough to swallow First Amendment rights. To get there, the court disregarded long-settled law and twisted or ignored Supreme Court precedents.

The opinion is so untethered from settled law that it is hard to resist the conclusion that the court punished Mckesson because of who he is: a Black Lives Matter activist protesting police violence.

Good Trouble is on exhibition through September 17, 2023. "Protest is an invaluable way to speak truth to power. Throughout history, protests have been the driving force behind some of the most powerful social movements, exposing injustice and abuse, demanding accountability and inspiring people to keep hoping for a better future. The right to protest encompasses various rights and freedoms, including the freedom of assembly, the freedom of association, and the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, these precious rights are under attack and must be protected from those who are afraid of change and want to keep us divided."

Tags: Black Lives Matter First Amendment photojournalism protest