Since 2014, a number of protests in the United States have deliberately blocked limited-access highways to increase protest visibility and to connect to long-standing political meanings of transportation infrastructure. In response, in 2017 seventeen states introduced twenty-one pieces of legislation aimed at stopping such protests, whether through increasing criminal penalties, creating new violations, or indemnifying drivers who accidentally hit protestors. Although only two of these bills passed into law, they are still of interest for what they demonstrate about state-level legislative responses to protest. This research answers the question via logistic regression of why some state legislators supported these bills by sponsoring or cosponsoring them and others did not. In the end, the political party of the legislator was the most important factor, but other geographic and political variables mattered as well, including the conservatism of voters and the whiteness of the district population.
- United States
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes