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DeSantis’ anti-woke law remains blocked in Florida colleges


Breaking it down: In a two-paragraph order, a three-judge panel of the appeals court denied the state’s request for a stay of the injunction from U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, who determined the anti-woke law is “positively dystopian.”

Florida’s Republican-led Legislature approved the legislation, FL HB 7 (22R), or the Individual Freedom Act, in 2022 to expand anti-discrimination laws to prohibit schools and companies from leveling guilt or blame to students and employees based on race or sex. Inspired by DeSantis, it takes aim at lessons over issues like “white privilege” by creating new protections for students and workers, including that a person should not be instructed to “feel guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” due to their race, color, sex or national origin.

The law was challenged in several lawsuits, including one by FIRE and another by the ACLU, ACLU of Florida and Legal Defense Fund, both of which sued the state on behalf of students and educators. Despite the legal challenges, the DeSantis administration expects the policies to be found lawful.

“The Court did not rule on the merits of our appeal,” Bryan Griffin, press secretary for DeSantis, said in a statement. “The appeal is ongoing, and we remain confident that the law is constitutional.”

What’s next: There is no hearing currently scheduled in the case.

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