The Los Angeles City Council has approved a controversial new set of rules that rewriting how the public airs grievances before elected officials.
The rules, which have caused controversy at City Council meetings for the past three weeks, are designed to curb disruptive speakers who often use racist and sexist language. Public speakers who are disruptive can be removed currently, but they often return for other meetings that same day.
The rules would allow that member of the public to be excluded from further meetings for that day and for the following business day, if they are expelled from any other meeting later on the day of their first offense, or during any of the following three business days.
If that same person disrupts a meeting in the three days following that second expulsion, they’ll be barred from city meetings for three days, and then for six if disruptions continue afterwards. The maximum period of exclusion is six days.
City leaders could soon face lawsuits, including one that could potentially erupt in the near future, over the rules.
It’s no surprise that members of the public are lining up to sue the deeply unpopular proposal. The past two weeks have seen dozens of public speakers comment on the rules, with most calling the proposal an infringement of First Amendment rights.
These changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2019. The proposal needs a two-thirds margin for it to pass.