Senate passes bill prohibiting residential picketing
Lawyers for the Governor are saying the two sides are too far apart for court-ordered mediation to be “worthwhile.”

People raising fist with unfocused background in a pacifist prot
Proponents characterize the home as a sacred place worthy of legal protection.

A bill that would prohibit residential picketing in Florida is now ready to head to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.

The Senate on Monday passed the proposal (HB 1571) along a 28-3 vote, without debate. Gainesville Republican Sen. Keith Perry is the companion bill sponsor.

“This bill recognizes the right of privacy, safety and peace that we all deserve in our own home,” Perry said.

If signed into law, the bill would ban residential protests that “harass” or “disturb” a person within their home. It also would amplify penalties against violators.

Under the bill, a violation is a second-degree misdemeanor and levies penalties including 60 days in jail, a $500 fine and six months probation. Police, though, must first warn an individual of a potential violation.

Proponents characterize the home as a sacred place worthy of legal protection. Some Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, fear the bill encroaches on free speech and is a particular threat toward minorities. They also fear it will disproportionately impact minority communities.

Orange County Sheriff John Mina is among the bill’s supporters. In a previous committee, Mina said a statewide ordinance would offer clarity given the differing local regulations across the state.

Dade City Republican Rep. Randy Maggard is the House bill sponsor. In committees, he cited a 1988 Supreme Court case that involved two anti-abortion advocates leading others to protest outside of a Wisconsin doctor’s home. The case — Frisby v. Schultz — led justices to side with the city of Brookfield, saying the government is within its right to prohibit protests outside of a person’s home. 

Demonstrations in front of a person’s home are not a new phenomenon. In 2004, anti-war demonstrators targeted the home of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Years later, protests rallied outside the homes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State John Kerry.

The trio are by no means alone. The Washington home of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was targeted by an anti-racist group in 2018. Thinking it was a home invasion, Carlson’s wife locked herself in a pantry and called 911.

If signed into law, the bill would take effect Oct. 1.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • RonDeSantisSucks

    March 7, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Has a single decent bill passed or been near to passing in Florida this session?

  • Antonio

    March 7, 2022 at 10:53 pm

    A bill that most people agree with passes the senate with overwhelming support from both parties and you are still complaining…..Blind hatred is a Hell of a drug.

    • RonDeSantisSucks

      March 7, 2022 at 11:04 pm

      No reasonable person should support this bill without exemption to allow for protesting in front of the Governor’s mansion.

      • Antonio

        March 7, 2022 at 11:44 pm

        So now it’s about the Govenor’s mansion…LOL…Ok, goal post mover. Seeing as that isn’t mentioned anywhere, let’s stick to the objective point instead of subjective probabilities. This is about peaceful living conditions for residents. You don’t control who your neighbor is and should not have to deal with activist BS from either side of the aisle in your own neighborhood.

  • Matthew Lusk

    March 8, 2022 at 11:46 am

    If only the legislators would strengthen property rights against squatters. Letting squatters rent out bedrooms for drug flops or babysitting is ridiculous. There is no recourse other than a possible years long costly court process. Eliminate the squatter protections for God’s sake.

Comments are closed.


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