Legal experts say Mississippi may be one of the most difficult states to sue in for business owners due to the lack of protections for businesspeople in Mississippi.
A bill filed in state court in Jackson this week by state Sen. Jeff Lacy Clay (R-Jackson) would make it a crime for anyone to “be in any manner disorderly or disruptive to the business of any person” within the state.
The bill would also make it illegal for any person who “willfully” disrupts business or disrupts or hinders or obstructs the business activities of another person or organization to be punished by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Clay said he’s not trying to punish anyone, but rather to “put a stop to some of the really bad things that people are doing.”
In addition to criminalizing disorderly conduct, the bill would make Mississippi a “third-degree misdemeanor,” making it punishable by up a year in jail, a $1,000 monetary fine, or both.
The measure would also remove protections for the right to privacy in the public square, such as those afforded by the First Amendment.
Lacy Clay said his bill would be in the best interest of the state and that it was the first of its kind.
It’s an attempt to stop the cycle of violence and disruption that we see in our country,” Clay said.
Clays bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, but it is unclear if the bill will make it to the floor.
Mississippi is not a party to the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.