Federal Appeals Court Blocks Enforcement of Florida ‘Stop W.O.K.E. Act’

Public university professors in Florida may continue to share their opinions about racism, sexism, and discrimination in the classroom — at least for now — after three federal judges upheld a ban on enforcement of a controversial law that GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has hailed as fighting “indoctrination.”

A three-judge panel upheld an injunction against the so-called “Stop W.O.K.E. Act,” which DeSantis has said provides teachers with “tools to stand up against discrimination and woke indoctrination.” The legislation — HB 7, formally called the “Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act” — is aimed at blocking teachers from offering their opinions on what DeSantis described as “pernicious ideologies” that could potentially make students, because of their race, feel personally responsible for past racism, sexism, or other discrimination in the U.S.

A federal district judge issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the law in November. On Thursday, three judges on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling. The order was signed by U.S. Circuit Judges Charles Wilson, a Bill Clinton appointee, and Britt Grant and Barbara Lagoa, both Donald Trump appointees.

“Appellants’ motions to stay injunction pending appeal are DENIED,” the ruling said (emphasis in original).

The tersely worded order came with additional instructions, should the defendants decide to challenge the ruling.

“The Clerk is DIRECTED to treat any motion for reconsideration of this order as a non-emergency matter,” the order said.



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