Politics

Federal judge blocks Florida Gov. DeSantis’ ‘Stop Woke’ Act

On Thursday, a Federal Judge blocked the “Stop Woke Act,” which was pushed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional.

Judge Mark Walker issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law stating that it breaches protections offered under the first amendment and the vagueness of the language used within the law also violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

“Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down,” Walker said in the ruling, before going onto compare the law to the fictional “upside down” in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely,” Walker explained, per Politico. “But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely,” Walker went onto say.

Walker also said in his ruling that the law implemented viewpoint-based regulation on speech, noting that a non-profit organization would be barred from holding a meeting in which it endorses the concept of white privilege whilst another non-profit organization could freely hold a meeting hitting out at the concept of white privilege.

“If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case,” Walker ruled. “But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents.”

Several businesses including honeymoon registry technology company Honeyfund.com and Florida-based Ben & Jerry’s franchisee Primo Tampa, along with workplace diversity consultancy Collective Concepts and its co-founder Chevara Orrin — joined forces to challenge the “anti-woke” law in federal court, arguing that the law violated their 1st amendment rights.

“Diversity in the workplace is good for business,” Honeyfund CEO Sara Margulis said on Twitter after the ruling. “Diversity training often addresses concepts like systemic racism, unconscious bias, and privilege. This is why @Honeyfund challenged this illegal restriction on free speech.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: AP NEWS

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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