Judge temporarily blocks provisions of ‘riot boosting’ law

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of parts of new South Dakota laws that aim to prevent disruptive demonstrations against the Keystone XL pipeline.

A lawsuit spearheaded by the American Civil Liberties Union against Gov. Kristi Noem and others alleges that the legislation chills protected speech. 

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Piersol on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction halting several provisions of the law.

The legislation passed in March allows officials to pursue criminal or civil penalties against demonstrators who engage in “riot boosting,” defined in part as encouraging violence during a riot.

It’s meant to head off Keystone XL protests like those against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Piersol filed a separate order earlier Wednesday removing Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom as a defendant.

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