Federal judge rules Florida ban of discussions on race unconstitutional

A federal district judge, Mark Walker, found Florida governor’s “Stop WOKE Act,” restricting talk of race in schools and the workplace, failed to meet constitutional standards for free speech. Wrote Walker, “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.” (New York Post, August 19, 2022, by Callie Patteson)

A lawsuit filed by professors and students argued that the legislature was trying to foist its views on students using “racially motivated censorship. The suit contended, “In place of free and open academic inquiry and debate, instructors fear discussing topics of oppression, privilege, and race and gender inequalities with which the legislature disagrees. As a result, students are either denied access to knowledge altogether or instructors are forced to present incomplete or inaccurate information that is steered toward the legislature’s own views.” (Vanity Fair, August 19, 2022, by Bess Levin)

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