The Oklahoma State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Oklahoma NAACP) filed suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, challenging Oklahoma House Bill 1674, set to go into effect on November 1.
The lawsuit argues that the law, which was written to discourage demonstrations in Oklahoma, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution because its vague and overbroad provisions subject organizations like the NAACP to draconian criminal penalties for constitutionally protected activity.
The Oklahoma state legislature enacted HB1674 in response to racial-justice demonstrations held across the country in the aftermath of the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
“Oklahoma’s anti-protest law seeks to stop organizations like the NAACP from engaging in rallies, marches, and peaceful demonstrations—actions that have always been at the heart of the civil rights movement’s challenges to unlawful acts and unjust conditions,” said NAACP Interim General Counsel, Janette Wallace. “As a result, HB1674 creates grave constitutional and practical concerns.”
The lawsuit, filed against Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, seeks a declaration that the relevant provisions of HB1674 violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and a permanent injunction against enforcement of those provisions.