TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – The DeSantis Administration will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that claimed Florida’s Stop WOKE Act violates the First Amendment and is vague.
“If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case,” the judge wrote. “But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents.”
U.S. District Judge Mark Walker also did not issue a stay to keep the law in effect when the state appeals.
“Judge Walker has effectively ruled that companies have a first amendment right to instruct their employees in white supremacy,” DeSantis Communications Director Taryn Fenske said.
“We disagree and will be appealing his decision.”
The Stop WOKE Act bans educators and workplace employers from teaching Floridians that their “moral character” is determined by race, sex, or national origin. The bill also aims to prohibit corporations from mandating employees go through critical race theory training.
When it came to diversity, inclusion and bias training in businesses, Walker said the law turns the First Amendment “upside down” because the state is prohibiting speech and banning the discussion of certain concepts in training programs.
The law prohibits businesses and public school classrooms from telling someone that they are inherently racist because of the color of their skin and that they should feel guilty for actions in the past committed by others.
“We are not going to categorize you based on your race. We are not going to tell some kindergartener that they are an oppressor based on their race and what may have happened 100 or 200 years ago,” DeSantis said when he signed the legislation in April.
“We’re not going to tell other kids that they are oppressed based on their race.”
The Clearwater-based company Honeyfund.com challenged the law in court claiming their free speech rights have been violated because the law interferes with their training programs focusing on diversity and inclusion.
Other groups have challenged the Stop WOKE Act.
DeSantis has said the law would make Disney’s “white privilege checklist” illegal. The Walt Disney Company requires employees to complete a “white privilege checklist.”
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