Bill pushes back funeral protestersNorth Dakota lawmakers say a protester at a funeral must stand at least 1,000 feet away from the service.
BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota lawmakers say a protester at a funeral must stand at least 1,000 feet away from the service.
Current law puts the minimum distance at 300 feet. On Thursday the North Dakota House unanimously approved lengthening the distance to 1,000 feet. The bill now goes to Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
The change comes after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that demonstrators have a free-speech right to picket funerals.
The court’s ruling said states may regulate how far away protesters have to stand. Some states require protesters to keep 1,000 feet away from funerals, and the North Dakota Legislature is supporting the greater distance.
Violating the law carries a possible 30-day jail term and a $1,000 fine.