Judge rejects part of DeSantis’ Stop WOKE law, cites 1984 novel
by Ron DeSantis
(R-FL) Stop WOKE Act which restricted the incorporation of
critical race theory
classrooms were blocked on Thursday by a
who said the legislation was comparable to George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Calling the law “positively dystopian,” Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida issued a temporary injunction against parts of the law that seek to ban or restrict critical race theory at universities. public.
“One thing is crystal clear – both robust intellectual inquiry and democracy need light to thrive,” Walker wrote. “Our teachers are essential to a healthy democracy, and the decision of the State of Florida to choose which viewpoints are worth illuminating and which should remain in the shadows has implications for all of us. If our “priests of democracy “are not allowed to shed light on stimulating ideas, then democracy will die in darkness.”
The law, first proposed by DeSantis, passed the 2022 Florida legislative session and restricted how public college professors could discuss certain race-related concepts. It banned classroom instruction and employee training that included narratives of one race’s superiority over another or that someone bore responsibility and guilt for ancestral wrongdoing due to the color of his skin.
Walker’s decision was celebrated by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, a free speech civil rights group that had filed a lawsuit to block the law.
“College campuses are spaces for debate, not dogma,” FIRE attorney Greg Greubel said in a press release. “Americans recognize that the government cannot be an all-powerful force authorized to control every word a teacher speaks in the classroom. is an important first step in ensuring that teachers’ First Amendment rights are respected by the State of Florida.
But the judge’s decision likely marks the first step in what promises to be a long legal battle.
In a statement to Washington ExaminerDeSantis spokesman Jeremy Redfern said the governor’s administration plans to appeal the ruling, saying it “strongly disagrees” with the judge’s injunction.
“The Stop WOKE Act protects the open exchange of ideas by prohibiting teachers or employers who exercise authority over others from imposing discriminatory concepts on students as part of classroom instruction or on employees as a condition of job retention,” Redfern said. “An ‘open-minded and critical’ environment requires being free from discrimination.”