Legislators involved in these groups have sponsored and helped pass a wide range of bills that threaten civil and human rights and the capacity of government to advance policies for the public good, at times dominating legislative agendas at the state level. Legislative attacks range from the “Don’t say gay”-style policies to the “don’t say racism” policies pushed in the name of opposing “critical race theory;” to “don’t make me get vaccinated or wear a mask” bills aimed at undermining efforts to address the pandemic; to attacks on women’s reproductive rights, immigrants and the LGBTQIA community. Aggregate data on the bills supported by legislators in far-right Facebook groups offers a look into the kinds of bills gaining the most sponsorship and regional variations in far-right legislative impact.
This section would not have been possible without the tremendous work done by other human rights organizations tracking the current onslaught of state legislation. Citations for each of these sources are included below. After compiling various categories of anti-human rights and anti-democracy bills, IREHR added legislator information on the identified bills from state legislature websites, including sponsors, co-sponsors, authors, and co-authors.
Geographic Distribution and Types of Bills Sponsored by Legislators in Far-Right Facebook Groups
As Table 5.1 and Figure 5.1 illustrates, Tennessee (63), Missouri (57), South Carolina (55), Minnesota (54), Wisconsin (54), and Texas (46) led the way in the overall number of bills sponsored by legislative members of far-right Facebook groups. Regional patterns also emerge. Figure 5.2 illustrates regional patterns in the number of bills sponsored by such legislators, showing the South and Midwest with the most such bills, followed by the Northeast and West.
Table 5.1 Number of Bills Sponsored by Far-Right Legislators by State
|STATE||NUMBER OF BILLS|
Figure 5.3 also shows the number of such bills by type, illustrating that COVID bills, Voter Restriction efforts, and Anti-Abortion politics lay at the forefront of far-right legislative mobilizations nationally. Anti-protest, Anti-CRT, and Anti-LGBTQIA bills comprise the second tier of bills sponsored by legislators in far-right Facebook groups.
Table 5.2 and Figure 5.4. illustrate the overall pattern of bills by region and type. In addition to demonstrating the overall prevalence of Voter Suppression, COVID Denial, and Anti-Abortion bills, and the pattern of higher numbers of bills in the South and Midwest, these numbers illustrate that the South also especially predominated in the number of Anti-LGBTQIA and Anti-CRT bills sponsored by far-right legislators.
Table 5.2 Far-Right Sponsored Bills by Region and Type
|Region||Anti-Abortion||Anti-CRT||Anti-Immigrant||Anti-LGBTQIA||Anti-Protest||COVID Denial||Voter Suppression|
Individual State Legislator Sponsorship
Patterns also emerge in a look at the individual far-right legislators sponsoring bills. Figures 5.7 and 5.8 demonstrate that a large majority of legislators sponsored a relatively small number of bills, while a small number of legislators were prolific. For instance, 88.3% of legislators in this study sponsored between 1 and 10 bills, while just 3.1% sponsored 21 or more bills. 71.8% sponsored five or fewer bills.
Table 5.3 Number of Bills Sponsored by Individual Legislators
|Number of Bills Sponsored (X)||Number of Legislators Sponsoring X Bills|
Table 5.4 Number and Percentage of Bills Sponsored by Individual Legislators
|Number of Bills Sponsored||Number of Legislators||Percent Total Legislators|
|1 to 5||436||71.8%|
|6 to 10||100||16.5%|
|11 to 15||35||5.8%|
|16 to 20||17||2.8%|
|21 to 25||14||2.3%|
|26 to 31||5||0.8%|
Legislative Impact by Category
The breath of state legislative engagement in far-right Facebook groups is not just an online phenomenon. Rather, it reflects both the ideological affinity of these legislators for such groups and their strategic interaction with potential support bases for their own political goals. And it is reflected in their legislative activity.
Using legislation data compiled by numerous human rights organizations, IREHR examined how legislator members of far-right Facebook groups contributed to this swell of dangerous legislation. The following is not a comprehensive look at all legislation in these policy areas but is based on time-bound snapshots contained in the available datasets. These datasets, however, were invaluable in making the following assessment of the overall impact of far-right legislators on proposed legislation and laws.
- Total Bills: 247
- Became law: 4
- Bills Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 165 (66.08%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 3 (75%)
The Guttmacher Institute’s “state legislation tracker” helped identify the 2022 anti-abortion bills in state legislatures across the country. The tracker is a comprehensive database that categorizes all bills regarding abortion and updates their status. Most bills tracked are anti-abortion, but some protect abortion access. The subcategories illustrate the different ways these bills restrict access to reproductive rights. Categories used by the Guttmacher Institute include abortion bans, abortion method bans, expanded refusal, ultrasound or fetal heartbeat testing, clinic regulation, and more.
In 2022, at least 247 anti-abortion bills were proposed in legislatures across the country, 165 (66.08%) receiving sponsorship from members of far-right Facebook groups. Of these, just four became law, three of which were sponsored by legislators in far-right Facebook groups.
Bills touched on several issues related to women’s health care and reproductive rights, including outright abortion bans, allowing medical providers to refuse to perform abortions, restricting fetal tissue research, requiring mandatory counseling and waiting periods, barring Medicaid funding for abortions, fetal heartbeat laws, parental notification requirements, and others.
Of bills that became law, New Hampshire’s H233 would have established “a committee to study the right of any infant born alive to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment.” Such legislation “maligns and vilifies providers and patients to push a false narrative about abortion later in pregnancy,” in the words of Physicians for Reproductive Health board member Dr. Kristyn Brandi.
S468 in West Virginia, passed in March 2022, bars abortions “because of a disability [in the fetus], except in a medical emergency.”
Among those supported by members of these groups that failed, H1500 in Pennsylvania would make a physician’s license subject to being revoked if they deem an abortion “necessary” based on the sex of the fetus or the presence of Down Syndrome. In addition, H2252 would have issued a joint resolution proposing that Pennsylvania’s Constitution provide “there is no right to abortion or funding for an abortion.”
In light of recent revelations about the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade by a decidedly right-wing Supreme Court, this large backlog of unpassed anti-choice legislation represents the making of an onslaught of attacks on reproductive rights to come.
- Total Bills: 148
- Became law: 15
- Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 94 (63.51%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 13 (86.67%)
In the wake of protests over the murder of George Floyd and the broader issue of police racism, a backlash developed that sought to make “critical race theory” a source of threat to the country. While having little to do with actual critical race theory, this mobilization sought to derail government and public school diversity and inclusion programs and curricula that sought to address the place of racism in our history and society.
In 2021 and 2022, at least 148 different so-called “anti-Critical Race Theory” bills were proposed, including 94 (63.51%) sponsored or co-sponsored by members of far-right Facebook groups.
Of the 146 ant-CRT bills introduced, 15 became law, of which 13 (86.67%) were sponsored by legislators who joined far-right Facebook groups.
Several sources, including a right-wing think tank, were used to pinpoint bills that go after bogus claims about “Critical Race Theory” being taught to children. Education Week’s “Map: Where Critical Race Theory is Under Attack” and the “Critical Race Theory Legislation Tracker” by the right-wing Heritage Foundation (one of the big perpetrators of the CRT lie) was used to identify bills attacking educator’s ability to teach race, gender, the 1619 Project or “Critical Race Theory” that were proposed in state legislatures for 2021 and 2022. According to Education Week, many of these bills forbid the discussion of “divisive concepts” such as unconscious bias or teaching the founding of the United States as fundamentally racist or sexist. Other bills advocate for more “transparency” in the classroom. Ultimately these bills are trying to remove or control the discussion of race, sex, gender, power, and oppression in the classroom. In addition, some bills try to hold educators liable for teaching critical race theory, putting them at risk for lawsuits. PEN America’s “Steep Rise in Gag Orders Many Sloppily Drafted” was also used to find bills that explicitly prohibit the discussion of sex, gender, race, power, and oppression. PEN America found 122 of these educational “gag orders,” detailing the lack of definitions for banned topics like “anti-American ideologies.” The Brookings Institute’s article “Why Are States Banning Critical Race Theory” has a comprehensive list of bills targeting the discussion of race and power in classrooms.
The anti-CRT law supported by the largest number of legislative members of far-right Facebook groups was Tennessee HB0580, passed in June 2021. Twelve of the 57 sponsors of HB0580 were members of far-right Facebook groups. Like many such bills, HB0580 barred teaching topics commonly used to caricature critical race theory, such as “One…race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex” and “the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.”
- Total Bills: 21
- Became law: 19
- Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 10 (47.62%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 8 (42.11%)
While state-level anti-immigrant bills experienced high activity levels in previous periods, the introduction of state nativist bills has slowed in recent years. From 2017 to 2022, twenty pieces of anti-immigrant legislation were introduced around the country, and 19 were signed into law. Ten such bills (47.62%) had sponsors or co-sponsors in far-right Facebook groups. Eight pieces (42.11%) of anti-immigrant legislation signed into law were sponsored by members of far-right Facebook groups.
There is currently no comprehensive source for tracking anti-immigrant legislation. As a result, several sources were used to compile our list. The National Conference of State Legislators’ database on Immigration Laws was used to help identify anti-immigrant bills; Ballotpedia’s “Sanctuary Jurisdiction Policies by State” for 2017-2021 provided insight into bills attacking sanctuary city declarations, and NC Policy Watch also provided data.
Bills in this category targeted a range of restrictions on immigrants and those who value the human rights of all people, ranging from prohibiting so-called “sanctuary cities,” beefing up border security, expanding state-level policing of immigrants and the border, further limiting immigrant access to government services, advancing E-Verify, and opposing refuge settlement.
The anti-immigrant bill sponsored by the largest number of members of far-right Facebook groups to become law was Texas’ SB 4, which passed in 2017. Seventeen of the 114 co-sponsors of Texas SB 4 were members of far-right Facebook groups. The law punishes local governments for non-enforcement of federal immigration laws, also requiring Texas law enforcement agencies to comply with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement detainers, among other things.
The National Immigration Forum noted, “SB 4 will undermine public safety by hurting law enforcement’s relationship with local immigrant communities. It conflates the roles of federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement, which makes unauthorized immigrants, their families, and other community members fearful of interacting with law enforcement because they do not want to be exposed to the risk of deportation. That reduces the reporting of crimes, a safety issue for everyone in the community.”
- Total Bills: 132
- Became law: 4
- Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 82 (62.12%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 2 (50%)
From 2018 to 2022, 132 anti-LGBTQIA bills were proposed, with just 4 becoming law. Eighty-two such bills (62.12%) were sponsored or co-sponsored by members of far-right Facebook groups, including two (50%) that became law.
These bills included proposals to preempt LGBTQIA protections by local governments, excluding transgender youth from athletics, curriculum restrictions, seeking religious exemptions in adoption & foster care, healthcare restrictions, and fostering the greater capacity to enforce anti-LGBTQIA discrimination through so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs).
The ACLU’s database, “Legislation Affecting LGBTQ Rights Across the Country,” was used to pinpoint bills targeting the LGBTQIA community. The ACLU tracked bills that have targeted the LGBTQIA community since 2018. The bills are categorized into three categories; Anti-trans bills, religious exemption bills, and bills pre-empting local protections. Each of those categories is put into subcategories. These attacks include limiting discussion about sex and gender in the classroom, denying transgender people and children healthcare or services, or reinforcing single-sex bathrooms. Other anti-LGBTQIA bills hinder a State’s ability to draft legislation that protects LGBTQIA rights.
The most supported bill by such legislators was Pennsylvania’s HB972, introduced in March 2022, requiring public schools and colleges to designate sports as male, female or coed and bar participation in female sports by individuals designated as male at birth.
As with abortion rights, the large backlog of unpassed Anti-LGBTQIA legislation portends a potential outpouring of such bigoted laws in the event that the Supreme Court erodes privacy protections in federal law.
- Total Bills: 241
- Became law: 42
- Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 121 (50.21%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 25 (59.52%)
In the wake of protests against energy projects that pose a threat to Indian Country through nationwide protests against police racism, between 2017 and the present, 241 bills were proposed that placed restrictions on protesting—121 (50.21%) sponsored or co-sponsored by members of far-right Facebook groups.
Bills in this category advocated for multiple restrictions, including heightened penalties for blocking traffic, roads, and sidewalks; more substantial sentences for activists who concealed their identity; expanded definitions of “riot;” barring teachers from protesting in a teacher’s strike; efforts to charge protestors for the costs of policing protests; attempts to criminalize “unlawful mass picketing;” eliminating driver liability for hitting protestors; criminalizing some demonstrations as “economic terrorism.”
The International Center for Not for Profit Law (ICNL) “US Protest Law Tracker” was used to help identify state-level bills targeting the rights of assembly and protest from 2017 to the present. According to ICNL’s “Analysis of US Anti-Protest Bills,” 2021 saw the most significant spike in anti-protest bills since 2017. ICNL categorized and tracked the status of over 200 bills. The categorizations detail how bills can hinder the ability to organize or deter participation in peaceful protests. ICNL identifies that the most popular bills are the “traffic interference” and “riot” bills. Traffic interference bills request higher penalties for demonstrators that block traffic or sidewalks but use broad definitions or vague language. Riot bills broaden the definition of “riot” and increase the penalties for participating in “riots.” ICNL noted that many activists and protestors could become victims of these vague bills or be intimidated by higher penalties, further hindering the right to assembly. Other categories include “driver immunity,” giving immunity to drivers that run over protestors. Infrastructure bills implement more severe punishments on protestors that organize actions at the site of pipelines, oil or gas facilities, and anything the bill redeems as “critical infrastructure.”
Of the 241, 42 became law, including 25 (59.92%) sponsored or co-sponsored by legislators in far-right Facebook groups.
The most popular among legislators in far-right groups was Tennessee’s SB8005/HB8005, passed in August 2020. This bill increases penalties for offenses such as disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting, vandalism, and camping on unauthorized state property. Additionally, the bill would impose mandatory minimum sentences for assaults on first responders, among other things.
As described by the ACLU of Tennessee, the law was “passed in reaction to protests…calling for the defunding of police and the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust at the state capitol, among other things.” Such laws “are often used to arrest people who are simply protesting,” the civil liberties organization stated. “They can say this bill is about protecting law enforcement,” ACLU of Tennessee Policy Director Brandon Tucker told The Daily Beast. “It’s not. Law enforcement is already protected. This bill came about when people took to the street demanding racial justice, an end to police violence, and to say that Black lives matter.”
- Total Bills: 360
- Became law: 47
- Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 259 (71.94%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 34 (72.34%)
From 2020 to 2022, and across successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID Denial mobilization, at least 360 COVID Denial laws were proposed, 47 of them becoming law. Overall, 259 (71.94%) of these bills were sponsored or co-sponsored by members of far-right groups, including 34 (72.34%) that became law.
Bills in the COVID Denial category included bans on vaccine and mask mandates, including in public schools and for many state and federal services; barring restrictions on un-vaccinated individuals, or those lacking proof of vaccination, from entering public and private facilities; prohibitions against using public money to pay for vaccinations; bans on requiring vaccines for employment; bans on stay at home orders and curfews; and bill promoting alternatives to vaccination.
Multiple sources were required to compile a list of COVID Denial legislation. The National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) database for State Public Health Legislation helped identify bills that limit the state’s and employer’s ability to mandate COVID procedures such as vaccinations, masks, or quarantine orders. The NCSL’s database has all bills regarding state public health. Some improve vaccination access, and others are concerned with “protecting” the unvaccinated or preventing states, schools, employers, or insurance companies from requiring vaccinations. Other bills regarding vaccinations threaten to refuse to fund institutions that try to require COVID-related precautions. NCSL database provided a title for each bill, its status, last date of action, authors, topics, a summary of the bill, and its history. The National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) database for “State Efforts to Ban or Enforce COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates and Passports” was used along with the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities’ database for “State by State School Mask Mandates” to find similar bills. NASHP provides data on how each state handled the COVID pandemic, including which states require proof of vaccinations and which states are trying to outlaw mandates. Ballotpedia provided additional citations for state government policies about vaccine requirements, school responses to the coronavirus, vaccine requirements for healthcare workers during the pandemic, and state employee vaccine requirements.
The most popular law among legislative members of far-right groups was Ohio’s SB 22, passed into law in June 2021, which empowered the state legislature to overturn state health edicts through a concurrent resolution. Likewise, South Carolina’s H4560, the “South Carolina Vaccination Rights Act of 2022,” would have prohibited “a person or a governmental entity” from denying non-vaccinated individuals access to facilities, goods, educational opportunities, employment, and the like.[249
- Total Bills: 383
- Became law: 35
- Sponsored by members of far-right groups: 232 (60.57%)
- Far-right group member-sponsored bills that became law: 15 (42.86%)
In 2021, 383 voter suppression bills were proposed in state legislatures across the country, with 35 of these becoming laws. Of these, 232 (60.57%) were sponsored or co-sponsored by a member of far-right Facebook groups, including 15 (42.86%) that became law.
These bills included restrictions on absentee and mail-in voting, voter identification requirements, purges of voter rolls, efforts at criminal disenfranchisement, enhancing the authority of poll workers to exclude ballots, and restricting the capacities of local public officials to support absentee voting.
The Brennan Center for Justice’s tracker for “State Voting Bills” was utilized to find voter restriction bills for 2021. The Brennan Center tracks voter restrictive and expansive bills. Voter restrictive bills hinder mail-in ballots, require photo ID for voting, purge voters off voter rolls, etc. IREHR compiled the information on all identified voter restriction bills from state legislature websites, including sponsors, co-sponsors, authors, and co-authors.
The voter suppression bill most widely supported by legislative members of far-right Facebook groups was Arkansas House Bill 1715. The bill, sponsored by 21 members of far-right groups, was among a slew of voter suppression bills introduced into the Arkansas legislatures. Passed in April 2021, the bill limits county clerks’ ability to distribute absentee ballots, requiring that they verify the signatures of a voter’s absentee ballot application and cannot replace ballots if they deem that the signatures do not match.
In response to the state legislature authorizing this and other voter suppression bills, the ACLU of Arkansas stated,
“Today the Arkansas General Assembly gave final approval to three bills that restrict voting access, including measures that would ban people from providing food and water to voters waiting in line at the polls (Senate Bill 486) and strip power from nonpartisan election officials and give it to partisan politicians (Senate Bill 487 and HB1715). ‘What we’re seeing in Arkansas is the most dangerous assault on the right to vote since the Jim Crow era,’ said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. ‘Legislators are moving at breakneck speed to erect new barriers to the ballot that will disproportionately impact voters of color, as well as elderly and low-income Arkansans.’”
The relationship between the number of Facebook groups joined and the quantity of legislation produced by a given legislator is shown in Figure 5.7 below.
The legislative poster-child for this fact is Daniel Knodl (R-Wisconsin State Assembly District 24). Knodl, who belonged to just three far-right Facebook groups, was the most prolific sponsor of far-right legislation, including 12 COVID Denial/Vaccines bills, eight Voter Suppression, three each Anti-Abortion rights and Anti-Protest, and two each Anti-LTBTQ and Anti-CRT. Rather than a commitment to a quantity of legislation, membership in such Facebook groups should be considered an indicator of these legislators’ underlying ideologies and issue interests.
Far-Right Legislative Blocks
By looking at the number of legislators that sponsored individual bills, the data in this report offers a potential measure of the emergence of far-right legislative blocks, including their location, the type of bills around which they have formed, and their impact on the success of these legislative efforts. While these findings certainly underestimate the size of such blocks, they call attention to the need for increased research and organizing to both understand and turn back the attack on democracy underway in the United States.
Tables 5.5 and 5.6 and Figure 5.8 illustrate that a large majority of bills included in this report received a relatively small number of sponsorships from legislators in far-right Facebook groups. Conversely, larger blocks of such legislators sponsored a much smaller portion of bills. For instance, more than 39% of the bills included in this report had just one such sponsor, and more than 84% of such bills had five or fewer such sponsors. Conversely, less than 5% of the bills in this study had more than ten sponsors.
Table 5.5 Number of Far-Right Legislators Sponsoring Individual Bills
|Number of Sponsors||Number of Bills||Overall Percentage of Bills|
Table 5.6 Number of Far-Right Legislators Sponsoring Individual Bills
|Number of Sponsors||Number of Bills||Overall Percentage of Bills|
|1 to 5||813||84.42%|
|6 to 10||108||11.21%|
|11 to 15||32||3.32%|
|16 to 21||10||1.04%|
Geography and Far-Right Legislative Blocks
Geographic patterns are visible in the emergence of far-right legislative blocks. Bills sponsored by state legislators in far-right Facebook groups were broken into groups based on the number of sponsors per bill. These included Small Block (1-5 sponsors), Intermediate Block (6-10 sponsors), Intermediate-Large Block (11-14 sponsors), and Large Block (16-21 sponsors) bills.
Tables 5.7 and 5.8 show the number of Small Block and Intermediate Block bills per state. Both categories show that such legislation is spread across a broad range of states, a finding simply reflecting that these were the most numerous types of bills included in this study.
Among Small Block bills, Missouri (57), Tennessee (52), Minnesota (46), Texas (35), and Wisconsin (35) lead the pack. Intermediate Block bills were most prominent in Wisconsin (18), South Carolina (14), North Carolina (9), Ohio (9), and Michigan (7).
Table 5.7 Number of Small Block Bills (1-5 Sponsors) by State
|State||Number of Bills|
Table 5.8 Number of Intermediary Block Bills (6-10 Sponsors) by State
|State||Number of Bills|
Figures 5.9 and 5.10 show a breakdown of states with the largest number of Small and Intermediate Block bills by region. These figures show that both Small and Intermediate Block bills were most frequent in the South and Midwest but also present in the other regions.
Figures 5.11 and 5.12 show the geographic distribution of Intermediate-Large and Large Block Bills by state. While the overall number of such bills is much lower and in far fewer states than the Small and Intermediate categories, this gives a picture of where larger far-right legislative blocks may be forming. Large Block far-right legislative activity was most prominent in Arkansas (3), Pennsylvania (3), and Texas (2); and Intermediate-Large Block legislative activity was especially seen in South Carolina (7), Pennsylvania (6), Tennessee (5), Texas (5) and Ohio (4).
Overall, Southern and Midwest states each comprise four of the nine states where Intermediary-Large blocks have formed (88.89% of the total combined). Southern states also make up three of the five states where Large Block activity has occurred (60% of the total).
Blocks by Bill Type
Figures 5.13 through 5.16 illustrate far-right legislative block activity distribution by the type of bill. The first pattern that jumps out is that, with the exception of Large Block bills, Voter Restrictive, COVID Denial, and Anti-Abortion bills were predominant in number – with Voter Restrictive and Anti-Abortion bills also predominant among Large Block bills.
While these conclusions are tentative, these data indicate that the same issues that dominated the overall number of sponsorships (Figure 5.3) are similarly predominant across Small, Intermediate, Intermediate-Large, and Large legislative blocks. In short, constrained or facilitated by likely differences in state political culture and other factors, the same issue frameworks fostering larger far-right legislative blocks also appear at work in smaller legislative blocks.
The second pattern seen in this data is that Anti-Protest, Anti-LGBTQIA, and Anti-CRT bills provide a second-tier around which Small to Intermediate-Large blocks are being built – the lack of Anti-CRT bills in the Large Block category is the sole difference from the other categories.
This data indicates that similar issue constellations appear to be at work in developing far-right legislative blocks of varying sizes.
Blocks and Bill Success
The emergence of various sizes of far-right legislative blocks built around a similar constellation of issues becomes especially of concern if the distinct-block sizes have different capacities to pass the bills they sponsor. If so, the continued growth of such blocks, as measured in this report, portends a potentially growing capacity of far-right legislators to impose anti-human rights legislation on the country.
Table 5.12 shows the finding mentioned at the outset of this chapter – that a large majority of the bills and laws with sponsorship from legislative members of far-right Facebook groups come from relatively small legislative blocks, as defined in this report – some 84.42% of all bills and 78% of all laws.
On the one hand, this partly reflects the limited measure of far-right blocks based just on Facebook far-right group membership – the laws, at least, obviously being palatable to a larger block of legislators than just their far-right group member sponsors.
On the other hand, Table 5.12 and Figure 5.18 indicate that the legislative block measure used here may serve as a proxy for the overall strength of far-right blocks of state legislators. While the large majority of bills and laws in this study came from Small and Intermediate legislative blocks, as the block sizes increased, the overall percentage of bills that became law jumped considerably. For example, while about 10% of bills sponsored by Small and Intermediate Blocks became law, this was the case for 25% of Intermediary-Large Block and 30% of Large Block bills.
Table 5.9 Number and Percent of Bills and Laws By Legislative Block Size
|Number of Sponsors||Number of Bills||Percent of All Bills||Number of Bills Becoming Law||Percent of All Laws||Percentage of Bills Becoming Law|
|1 to 5||813||84.42||78||78||9.59|
|6 to 10||108||11.21||11||11||10.19|
|11 to 15||32||3.32||8||8||25|
|16 to 21||10||1.04||3||3||30|
While these findings are tentative, they call attention to the urgent need for greater study of far-right legislative blocks and their impact on public policy – and for concerted political organizing to turn back these growing threats to human and civil rights and the well-being of our communities.
Based on these preliminary findings, blocks of far-right legislators are developing around a distinct set of far-right issues. As blocks grow, their capacity to impose anti-human rights and anti-democratic legislation on our communities increases.
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 Weill, Kelly. Chilling Anti-Protest Bills Are Popping Up Across America. Daily Beast. August 17, 2020. https://www.thedailybeast.com/tennessee-lawmakers-are-going-after-protesters-and-theyre-not-alone.
 National Conference of State Legislatures. Public Health Database. March 16, 2022. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-public-health-legislation-database.aspx; “State Efforts to Ban or Enforce COVID-19 Mask Mandates and Passports.” The National Academy for State Health Policy. March 15, 2022. https://www.nashp.org/state-lawmakers-submit-bills-to-ban-employer-vaccine-mandates/; “State by State School Mask Mandates.” Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities. March 11, 2022. https://centerfordignity.com/state-by-state-school-mask-mandates/; “State Government Policies About Vaccine Requirements (Vaccine Passports).” Ballotpedia. March 16, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/State_government_policies_about_vaccine_requirements_(vaccine_passports); “School Responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic During the 2021-2022 Academic Year.” Ballotpedia. March 22, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/School_responses_to_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic_during_the_2021-2022_academic_year; “Vaccine Requirements for Healthcare Workers During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, 2021-2022.” Ballotpedia. March 22, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Vaccine_requirements_for_healthcare_workers_during_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic,_2021-2022; “State Employee Vaccine Requirements During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, 2021-2022.” Ballotpedia. March 23, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/State_employee_vaccine_requirements_during_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic,_2021-2022;
 National Conference of State Legislatures. Public Health Database. March 16, 2022. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-public-health-legislation-database.aspx. “State Efforts to Ban or Enforce COVID-19 Mask Mandates and Passports.” The National Academy for State Health Policy. March 15, 2022. https://www.nashp.org/state-lawmakers-submit-bills-to-ban-employer-vaccine-mandates/. “State by State School Mask Mandates.” Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities. March 11, 2022. https://centerfordignity.com/state-by-state-school-mask-mandates/. “State Government Policies About Vaccine Requirements (Vaccine Passports).” Ballotpedia. March 16, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/State_government_policies_about_vaccine_requirements_(vaccine_passports). “School Responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic During the 2021-2022 Academic Year.” Ballotpedia. March 22, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/School_responses_to_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic_during_the_2021-2022_academic_year. “Vaccine Requirements for Healthcare Workers During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, 2021-2022.” Ballotpedia. March 22, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Vaccine_requirements_for_healthcare_workers_during_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic,_2021-2022. “State Employee Vaccine Requirements During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, 2021-2022.” Ballotpedia. March 23, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/State_employee_vaccine_requirements_during_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic,_2021-2022.
 “State Voting Bills Tracker 2021.” Brennan Center for Justice. March 28, 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/state-voting-bills-tracker-2021
 “State Voting Bills Tracker 2021.” Brennan Center for Justice. March 28, 2021. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/state-voting-bills-tracker-2021.
 ACLU Arkansas. ACLU OF ARKANSAS STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF VOTING RESTRICTIONS. April 13, 2021. https://www.acluarkansas.org/en/press-releases/aclu-arkansas-statement-passage-voting-restrictions.
 No Left Turn in Education-Wisconsin. Facebook. About. https://www.facebook.com/groups/359217028692685/; Wisconsin Patriot EVENTS List. Facebook. Members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/WisconsinPatriotEVENTS/members; WI/IL Convention of the States Supporters. Facebook. Members. https://www.facebook.com/groups/wiandilcos/members.
 The break in these categories from 11-14 sponsors and 16-21 sponsors is explained by no bill in this report having 15 legislative sponsors who were members of the far right Facebook groups examined.
Breaching the Mainstream
A National Survey of Far-Right Membership in State Legislatures
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