Judges find DeSantis did not violate injunction in lawsuit challenging anti-woke bill

 January 16, 2023

A federal judge sided with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week in the latest development concerning a controversial piece of legislation. 

According to Fox News, DeSantis signed the "Stop Wrongs To Our Kids and Employees Act" or "Stop WOKE Act" last April.

Bill bans critical race theory from college and corporate training

The legislation aims at fighting the spread of critical race theory (CRT) in corporations and public institutions by making its presence in training programs a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act .

This includes subjecting any employee or student to "training that espouses race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating."

"Workers are subjected to trainings pushing the falsehoods that America is a ‘white supremacist’ country, and that white Americans are ‘raised to be racist’ from early childhood," DeSantis was quoted as saying before signing the bill.

"These divisive narratives and indoctrination programs create a hostile environment in violation of our laws and principles," he added.

Fox News reported in November that the legislation was challenged in federal court on constitutional grounds, with District Judge Mark E. Walker issuing an injunction which prevents portions of it from being enforced.

Yet the network noted that the American Civil Liberties Union accused Florida’s chief of the Office of Policy and Budget, Chris Spencer of violating Walker injunction last month.

The organization objected to a memo Spencer sent which called on colleges to "provide a comprehensive list of all staff, programs and campus activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion and critical race theory."

Judge finds no violation of order

However, Walker announced in a decision last Thursday that the memo did not constitute a violation of his December order.

"Although this court would not hesitate to compel compliance with its preliminary injunction, this court finds there has been no violation of the injunction at this time," the judge was quoted as saying.

When issuing his injunction, Walker made no secret of how he felt about the Stop WOKE Act, calling it "positively dystopian."

In particular, Walker expressed concern about how the law would affect colleges, saying, "Our professors are critical to a healthy democracy, and the State of Florida’s decision to choose which viewpoints are worthy of illumination and which must remain in the shadows has implications for us all,"

"If our 'priests of democracy' are not allowed to shed light on challenging ideas, then democracy will die in darkness," he added.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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