May 15, 2019

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: Protesters shut down Johns Hopkins building for a week. Here’s how students can sue them.

Activists chained all entrances shut and prevented anyone from entering. After ultimately breaching the building, authorities arrested five occupiers inside.

The private Baltimore university stated that the suped-up sit-in evoked “major safety risks” and “severely disrupted university services,” yet prosecutors have already ruled out charging those who were arrested or involved in the occupation.

When the state refuses to get involved, what’s the best way for a college community to discourage protesters from engaging in lengthy shutdowns? According to one law professor, community members should file civil lawsuits against them.

“The fact that the criminal actors are students, and that the criminal acts occurred on a college campus, should not alter the basic principles creating legal liability for engaging in a criminal act,” George Washington University’s John Banzhaf said in a phone interview with The College Fix.

The public interest lawyer, best known for his legal crusades against smoking and in favor of more public toilets for women, is floating the idea of filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of individuals negatively affected by the suped-up sit in.

Banzhaf has recent case law to cite. Last month a federal appeals court ruled that a Black Lives Matter organizer could be sued by a police officer who suffered injury during the illegal highway blockages he led.

There are a lot of civil rights lawsuits waiting to be filed.

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