Protestors can challenge Louisiana pipeline law, judge rules

At a rally against the pipeline before the public hearing.

A federal judge has ruled that protesters arrested during a protest against pipeline construction may continue their challenge of a Louisiana law carrying a possible five-year prison sentence for trespassing, reports the Associated Press.

But landowners and environmental and community groups don’t have legal standing to sue the St. Martin Parish sheriff and district attorney over the law, Judge Robert Summerhays ruled.

The law approved in 2018 added pipelines to the list of items considered “critical infrastructure” in Louisiana and changed trespassing on such property from a misdemeanor to a felony. It was passed during protests over construction of the 162-mile (260-kilometer) Bayou Bridge oil pipeline, which was completed the following year.

Sheriff Ronald Theriot and District Attorney Bo Duhe of the 16th Judicial District had asked Summerhays to throw out the suit. Read the full story.