DeSantis' Anti-Woke Law Crushed in Florida Court

Toni Koraza
Photo byPhoto 261696071 / Desantis © Wirestock |

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been making headlines with his controversial policies, including the so-called "Stop-WOKE" act.

DeSantis is sailing with strong tailwinds. His base seems to support sensational policies and would love to see DeSantis stick it to politically and socially aware citizens.

However, recent legal developments have dealt a significant blow to the enforcement of anti-woke laws in the Sunshine state.

Deemed dystopian

The "Stop-WOKE" law, officially known as FL HB 7 (22R), aimed to restrict how race and gender could be taught in schools and universities. The legislation, championed by DeSantis and approved by the Republican-led Legislature in 2022, expanded anti-discrimination laws to prevent schools and companies from assigning guilt or blame to students and employees based on race or sex. It specifically targeted lessons on topics like "white privilege" and created new protections for students and workers.

Teaching about sensitive parts of our history could land teachers in trouble.

However, the law has faced multiple legal challenges, with groups such as the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filing lawsuits on behalf of students and educators. In response, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker determined the law to be "positively dystopian" and unconstitutional, issuing an injunction that temporarily halted its enforcement.

The DeSantis administration and higher education officials sought to block this injunction, but on March 16, 2023, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied their request. The court's decision ensures that state officials are barred from implementing the law for now, leaving DeSantis' controversial legislation in limbo.

Despite these setbacks, DeSantis and his officials remain confident that the law will ultimately be deemed constitutional once the case is heard.

What about Republican primaries?

The ongoing legal battle over the "Stop-WOKE" law further complicates the governor's political future.

As DeSantis potentially gears up for a presidential run, his hardline stances on issues like race and gender education, as well as his support for a six-week abortion ban, risk alienating moderate Republicans and independents.

While DeSantis has managed to solidify his position as a strong conservative candidate and a chief rival to former President Donald Trump, his commitment to these controversial policies may hinder his electability in a general election. The striking down of the anti-woke law in Florida serves as a reminder that the governor's ambitions may be tempered by legal challenges and growing concerns over his political positions.

What do you think about DeSantis's crusade on woke life?

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