Appeals Court Bashes Florida’s ‘Stop-Woke’ Law for Major Free Speech Violation

( – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his legal team are looking at ways to appeal the decision of a federal appeals court to block the Individual Freedom Act, also known as the “Stop-Woke Act.”

On Monday, March 4th, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with and upheld the ruling of a lower court that decided parts of the law violate the First Amendment. Judge Mark E. Walker issued an injunction in August 2022, blocking Florida from enforcing specific parts of the law that would prohibit employers from training employees to believe they should feel privileged or oppressed based on things such as their sex, race, skin color, or national origin.

Britt Grant, Eleventh Circuit Appeals Judge, issued a written statement upholding Judge Walker’s ruling, rejecting the law. Grant claims the legislation is directed at limiting the speech of employers to comply with the beliefs of the officials in the state of Florida. According to Grant, it doesn’t matter if Florida is right about the “nature of ideas” being targeted in the legislation but the courtroom is not the place for this to be decided.

The DeSantis administration says the state is “reviewing all options” to appeal the ruling. DeSantis’ press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, said in a statement that the state disagrees with the ruling and claims the Court’s opinion means employers can train employees to believe that “one race is morally superior to another race”. Redfern believes The First Amendment does not apply.

Attorneys for the state of Florida compared the law to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Grant described the comparison as a “last-ditch effort” and said the problem with the Florida law is that its main purpose is to restrict speech, whereas Title VII is not directed at restricting speech.

Another lawsuit surrounding the Stop-Woke Act targeting lessons on race in higher education is still being reviewed by a federal court. This portion of the law was also blocked through a preliminary injunction. A hearing is scheduled for June.

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