6:06:15 PM PDT - Friday, October 22nd, 2021

New Law Bans Harassment at Vaccination Sites, but Free Speech Concerns Persist  

By Editor - Fri Oct 08, 9:02 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It’s now illegal in California to harass people on their way into a vaccination clinic, under a law signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. But First Amendment experts continue to raise legal questions about the law’s constitutionality, including its definition of harassment. The new law, which takes effect immediately, makes it a misdemeanor to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct people on their way to get a covid-19 or any other kind of vaccine, punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and/or up to six months in jail. Even though the measure, SB 742 , was amended to remove a phrase that free speech experts said made it unconstitutional, they maintain that the new version still violates the First Amendment. “It sweeps up broad activities that are protected by the First Amendment and defines them as harassing,” said David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, which advocates for free speech and government transparency. “That problem hasn’t changed at all.” But the law is more necessary than ever, said Catherine Flores Martin, executive director of the California Immunization Coalition, which promotes vaccines

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New Law Bans Harassment at Vaccination Sites, but Free Speech Concerns Persist

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