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Gov. DeSantis signs law making picketing, protesting outside a person's home illegal

In a statement, the Florida governor said "unruly mobs" in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices is "inappropriate."

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a bill, HB 1571, to make protesting outside of a person's home illegal, starting with a warning and then an arrest if the person does not peaceably disperse.

The offense will be classified as a second-degree misdemeanor.

The Florida bill signing comes shortly after three U.S. Supreme Court justices began seeing protests outside their homes. Those federal protests followed the leaking of a draft opinion that suggested the nation's highest court was on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in a decision that would prompt several states to ban or restrict abortions.

Due to protestors outside the residences of Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas in Fairfax County, Virginia, county leaders have asked Virginia's governor to establish a security perimeter around their neighborhoods, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Back in Florida, Gov. DeSantis said in a statement "sending unruly mobs to private residences like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate."

"This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities and I am glad to sign it into law," he added.

However, the Florida bill was passed months before the leaked draft came to light. In January, Republican Sen. Keith Perry filed the Senate version of the bill. 

While Perry said the bill was inspired by several instances, protests by anti-maskers at a school board member's home and protests at Brian Laundrie's parent's home were used as examples during a committee meeting. 

"This bill recognizes the right of privacy, safety and peace that we all deserve in our homes," Perry said at the time, adding that the bill does not prevent marches and other mobile demonstrations.

RELATED: Florida bill would make it illegal to protest at someone's home

Once the law takes effect, protestors and picketers outside a person's home will be met with a warning from law enforcement. Those who refuse to leave after the warning could be arrested.

The U.S. Supreme Court court has said the draft does not represent the final position of any of the court’s members, and Chief Justice John Roberts has ordered an investigation into the leak.

Florida's law will take effect on Oct. 1, 2022.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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