A Florida judge has just blocked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) the stop WOKE Act. The bill has been championed by DeSantis, but Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a 44-page ruling striking down the law.
The Judge argued that the bill violates free speech protections that are granted by the First Amendment, adding that the bill violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause because it’s impermissibly vague.
In the ruling, Walker addressed the bill, saying that “recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down.”
“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely. But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”
Judge Walker, appointed by President Barack Obama (D), further commented that “if Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case. But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents.”
Governor DeSantis has been a major proponent of the bill, arguing that it pushes back against “woke” culture, but the ruling is the latest blockade from a Florida Judge not agreeing with the Governor.
In early May, Judge Layne Smith, a Judge appointed by then-Governor Rick Scott (R), struck down Governor DeSantis' proposed redistricting map.
Providing a reason for striking down the map, Smith explained that the map "is unconstitutional under the Fair District Amendment, because it diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect the representative of their choice.”
Governor DeSantis signed the Stop WOKE Act into law in April, affirming that his administration believes "in education, no indoctrination.
“We believe an important component of freedom in the state of Florida is the freedom from having oppressive ideologies imposed upon you without your consent, whether it be in the classroom, or whether it be in the workplace," DeSantis said.