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September 29, 2022 2022 FALL COUNCIL MEETING

Protests Panel

After George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers, Joe Biden was certified as the President by the counting of the electoral votes on January 6, the Supreme Court withdrew the federal constitutional right to an abortion, and the raid for top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago public protests have again and again exploded across the United States. At times, those demonstrations resembled the peaceful methods of Martin Luther King Jr. and the nonviolent marches of Vietnam War protesters. At other times, the protests resembled the obstructionist methods of the Occupy Wall Street movement and even armed insurrection and rebellion. Our law of public protest – with its extraordinary protections for those who seek municipal permits before engaging in mass demonstrations and marches – was created largely in response to the methods of protest employed in the Civil Rights and Vietnam War eras. Our law is not so well adapted to the methods employed by Occupy Wall Street and obviously criminalizes protests that turn into insurrection and rebellion.

This panel tries to address the future regulation of public protest. It examines not only the existing law of public protest but also the adaptability of that law to modern protest methods. In addition, the panel examines the enormous challenges that modern protest methods create for municipalities and police departments. Finally, the panel inquires how courts will likely review the street-level, moment-by-moment decision-making of police officers who confront spontaneous demonstrations conducted without a permit.

This panel was presented on Thursday, September 29, 2022, during the joint fall meeting of the American Bar Association's Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, State and Local Government Law Section, and Young Lawyers Division. This program is offered on-demand for viewing only and does not qualify for CLE credit in its recorded form.



  • Brian Connelly, Attorney at Law, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC

Joint Sponsors: ABA State and Local Government Law SectionABA Young Lawyers Division


CLE Resource Packet
Please note: only in-person attendees are eligible for CLE credit.

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