Several months after the 2021 Florida legislative session, state Democrats have not given up in fighting the controversial HB 1 anti-riot bill Governor DeSantis (R-FL) has signed into law. Now, state Senator and minority leader, Sen. Lauren Book (D-32) has led the charge to challenge HB 1.
In a letter written to Attorney General Ashley Moody (R-FL), Sen. Book enlisted Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-38), Sen. Bobby Powell (D-30), Sen. Janet Cruz (D-18), and Sen. Lori Berman (D-31) and called for the AG’s “formal legal opinion” on the lawfulness of HB 1 and that “duly elected officials across the state know this information from your legal perspective.”
Senator Book stressed the recent activism that has ensued since the passage of HB 1 claiming “We are pleased and frankly thankful that the draconian and anti-democratic measures contained within HB 1 have not been weaponized against those who are peacefully protesting”, making further reference towards the pro-Cuban demonstrations in South Florida, anti-gun protests and uniting for the Surfside building collapse.
FL Senate Dems Tweeted the formal letter stating “The protection of those who today exercise their passion and purpose must be assured”:
As HB1 looms,@LeaderBookFL @senpizzo @loriberman @BobbyPowellJr @SenJanetCruz seek formal opinion from @AGAshleyMoody to protect freedom of Floridians voicing first amendment right to protest: "The protection of those who today exercise their passion and purpose must be assured." pic.twitter.com/btkIBfU7k5
— FL Senate Dems (@FLSenateDems) July 14, 2021
The anti-riot bill has been heavily criticized by plenty of Florida Democrats as a simple reaction to the Black Lives Matter riots that plagued the nation last Summer. State Senator Shevrin Jones (D-35) who has prioritized racial equity through all facets has even called the bill and its proponents racists while claiming that Gov. DeSantis has a “politically-driven double standard” on free speech.
While Senator Book’s fight against the legislation is admirable, do not expect to see Ashley Moody be the Attorney General who delivers an unfavorable opinion on the legislation. Perhaps if Book can become the majority leader rather than the minority leader after the 2022 election season, this could be more possible for Florida Democrats to attain.