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Judge rules Stop WOKE legislation unconstitutional

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A federal district court judge has ruled that the so-called Stop WOKE Act violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.

Specifically, HB 7 the Individual Freedom Act, also known as the Stop WOKE Act, forbids employers from requiring workers to attend training sessions or other activities promoting that members of one race, color, national origin or sex are superior to others.

It also forbids employers from discriminating against workers based on race, color, or national origin to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation into law on April 22, 2022.

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On Aug. 18 US District Judge Mark Walker ruled that the Act is unconstitutional on grounds that it limits free speech and that it is “impermissibly” vague under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Also in his decision, Walker declined to order a stay that would allow the law to remain in effect during any appeal by the State of Florida.

DeSantis said that he will appeal Walker’s ruling.

“Judge Walker has effectively ruled that companies have a first amendment right to instruct their employees in white supremacy,” DeSantis said. “We disagree and will be appealing his decision.”

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