Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

South Dakota, ACLU settle suit over ‘riot-boosting’ laws

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota has resolved a lawsuit over laws aimed at potential demonstrations against the Keystone XL pipeline by agreeing not to enforce much of the laws.

The laws passed this year allow criminal or civil penalties against demonstrators who engage in so-called riot boosting. Republican Gov. Kristi Noem pushed for the laws, which came after neighboring North Dakota battled months of sometimes disruptive protests over the Dakota Access pipeline.

The ACLU challenged the laws on free speech grounds and a federal judge agreed in September, granting a temporary injunction.

The settlement announced Thursday retains some parts of the laws concerning violent protest.

Noem said the state remains “focused on preserving law and order.”

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