Two Florida bills filed by State Rep. Alex Andrade, a Gov. Ron DeSantis ally, on the same day in late February represent “a full-fledged assault on the First Amendment,” says Bobby Block, executive director of the First Amendment Foundation.
Florida’s “Stop WOKE” Act has ignited fear and outrage from public university educators as a federal judge decides whether to issue a preliminary injunction to block the law’s academic provision which would restrict gender and race-centric discussions and teachings in the classroom.
Chief Judge Mark Walker concluded that this law restricted speech and suppressed expression of Florida employers, employees and diversity consultants. He described the provision as “a naked viewpoint-based regulation on speech” that violated the First Amendment.
Florida has placed itself at odds with the well-settled First Amendment rule prohibiting government officials from “subjecting an individual to retaliatory actions . . . for speaking out.” Hartman v. Moore, 547 U.S. 250 (2006).
The University of Florida has blocked three political science professors from testifying in a lawsuit challenging the state’s new voting law. Florida’s new voting law places restrictions on drop boxes and mail in ballots, and has been roundly criticized by Democrats as a blatant attempt to restrict voting by the eldery, disabled individuals, and minorities.