MOVE ALONG NOW
Michigan lawmakers this year have been included in national news reports about states around the country trying to limit protester rights, in light of the increase in demonstrations since President Donald Trump took office. The reports finger Republican lawmakers advancing bills that would criminalize or penalize public protests. A 2015 Michigan bill got national attention after members of the state’s House breathed new life into the bill in late November 2016 after sitting stagnant in a committee since May of 2015. The bill would have added new civil fines and an avenue for employers or other companies suffering from mass protesters to collect damages in court. House members in December approved the bill 57-50, but support for the bill in the Senate fell short before the end of the year. The bill, however, was a bit of a red herring, as Michigan law already makes it a criminal misdemeanor for mass protesters to hinder or prevent a place of business’s work or employment.