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Noem proposes revamped anti-riot legislation

Noem’s newly proposed legislation redefines the criminal act of incitement to riot so it "meets the constitutional standard for restricting free speech in an incitement statute,” according to packet documents.

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at her "Look Ahead" tour stop on Thursday at Cornerstone Coffee House and Deli in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)
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PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is seeking input from lawmakers and stakeholders on two draft bills that redefine major parts of the state’s anti-riot laws ahead of the 2020 legislative session.

A briefing packet was released by the governor’s office on Nov. 15 and updated Dec. 13.

The proposed legislation in the packet repeals sections of the anti-riot law that a federal court struck down in September after ruling that parts of the law violated the U.S. Constitution.

The governor and the American Civil Liberties Union agreed on a settlement in which state’s attorneys were asked not to enforce the parts of the law found unconstitutional.

Noem’s newly proposed legislation redefines the criminal act of incitement to riot so it "meets the constitutional standard for restricting free speech in an incitement statute,” according to packet documents.

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The proposed legislation is directed at Keystone XL Pipeline protesters.

"These draft proposals ensure that protesters may have their voices heard in a secure environment, free from the few violent criminals who would seek to abuse their rights,” the packet document states.

The deadline to submit concerns, proposed changes or express support for the proposed legislation is Friday, Jan. 10. Feedback can be emailed to PublicinputRB@state.sd.us with subject line "riot legislation." Comments will be maintained as public records.

FSA South Dakota SD brief

FSA South Dakota SD brief

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