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Anti-Keystone XL Rally (copy)

Protesters rally against the Keystone XL Pipeline and against anti-riot laws aimed at pipeline protests in Rapid City this past June. 

A federal judge has approved a settlement that says South Dakota won't enforce two anti-riot laws and parts of new laws aimed at protests against the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. 

Judge Lawrence Piersol congratulated the parties for reaching the agreement in the order he signed Tuesday. 

The settlement comes after the ACLU sued Gov. Kristi Noem and Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and after Piersol ruled in September that parts of the laws violate the First Amendment and temporarily ordered the state not to enforce them.

The ACLU sued on behalf of the Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Dakota Rural Action, NDN Collective, Dallas Goldtooth of IEN, and Nick Tilsen of NDN Collective. All say they are planning to non-violently protest the pipeline and encourage others to do so but feared criminal or civil liability under the laws passed in the last legislative session.

Noem and Ravnsborg will send letters to state's attorneys to let them know about the agreement and which laws or parts of laws they can no longer enforce, the settlement says. Piersol or another federal judge will hold hearings to resolve any accusations of people not following the settlement. The agreement will only end if the unconstitutional parts of the laws are "substantially revised" by the Legislature, and both Noem and Ravnsborg told the Journal they plan to revise laws to make sure they balance free speech and public safety.  

 

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