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Federal Judge Blocks Florida’s ‘Stop WOKE’ Act, Compares Florida to ‘Stranger Things’


“A federal judge on Thursday blocked portions of a Florida law restricting how workplaces and schools can discuss race during required training or instruction championed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R),” The Hill reported.

US District Judge Mark Walker said the ‘Individual Freedom Act‘ is unconstitutional, writing that it “unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of viewpoint in violation of the First Amendment and is impermissibly vague in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The federal judge compared the legislation to the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things,” which features an alien-like “upside-down” world of Hawkins, Ind.

From the New York Post:

“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.”

The judge noted that “like the heroine” in the television show, the court is “once again asked to pull Florida back from the upside down.”

The IFA, more commonly known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” went into effect in July. A portion of the law specifically targets critical race theory, an academic theory generally taught in higher education programs that discusses systemic racism.

To prevent the theory from being discussed by younger grades and in the workplace, the IRA prohibits schools and businesses from espousing the idea that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

DeSantis has championed the bill as a win for parents and Republicans, saying, “No taxpayer dollars should be used to teach our kids to hate our country or hate each other” when introducing the bill last December.

“In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces,” DeSantis said during a signing ceremony in April.

“There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.”

The Hill added:

In the ruling, Walker argued the law implemented viewpoint-based regulation on speech, noting that a nonprofit could not hold a required meeting in which it endorses the concept of white privilege while another nonprofit was free to hold required meetings criticizing the concept.

“If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case,” Walker ruled. “But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents.”

Nonprofit Protect Democracy filed the lawsuit challenging the law in June on behalf of honeymoon registry technology company Honeyfund and Ben & Jerry’s franchisee Primo Tampa, both of whom wished to require employee training prohibited by the law.

Read the bill’s ‘Freedom from Indoctrination Handout

Also, read the ‘Stop WOKE Handout


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