RAPID CITY, S.D. -- 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 l egislation 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.