A Florida judge blocked Ron DeSantis’s Stope WOKE Act for colleges, calling it a ‘positively dystopian’ violation of free speech
On Thursday, a federal judge at the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida blocked part of the Stop WOKE Act. This Act was endorsed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was a Republican governor who sought to limit certain speech on state college campuses.
The 138-page order by Chief US District Judge Mark Walker described Florida’s attempts to suppress certain viewpoints about race and gender as “positively distopian” and stated that it was against free speech.
This bill was signed into law in April and would restrict how schools and workplaces talk about race and gender as well as the way that private companies conduct diversity and equity training.
Walker claimed that the State of Florida had taken control of the “marketplace of ideas” to suppress disfavored views and limit the opportunities for professors to shine their light on eight ideas.
“Our professors are crucial to a healthy democracy. The State of Florida’s decision about which viewpoints should be illuminated and which must remain hidden has implications for all of us. Walker stated that if our “priests” of democracy are not allowed to shine light on difficult ideas, democracy will perish in darkness. “But the First Amendment doesn’t permit the State of Florida, to silence its university professors and impose its own orthodoxy of views on us all, and it does not allow the State of Florida, however, to do this.”
Insider was told by the press office of DeSantis that they planned to appeal this decision.
“This latest ruling was a win for our legal team. Bryan Griffin, press secretary, stated that they expect to win many more cases and eventually prevail in the litigation. We strongly disagree with Judge Walker’s preliminary injunction orders regarding the enforcement of Stop W.O.K.E. We will fight to stop Florida’s employees and students from being forced to take discriminatory classes or to receive discriminatory workplace training.
He said that the law “protects open exchange of ideas by prohibiting employers or teachers from holding agency over others from forcibly forcing discriminatory concepts onto students as part of classroom instruction, or on employees as condition of keeping employment.”
Judge Walker had previously suspended enforcement for another section of the law that affected companies with 15 or more employees. He also dismissed it as a violation free speech.