Thursday, June 13: Federal Court Appeal in Miami Over Florida’s Classroom Censorship Law Known as the Stop W.O.K.E. Act

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
June 6, 2024 3:00 pm

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WHAT: On June 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, Florida’s notoriously broad censorship law restricting speech in workplaces and public schools. It is one of over 20 laws passed since 2020 to limit instruction about racism and sexism. This argument marks the first time an appellate court will consider the constitutionality of this type of law.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Ballard Spahr are representing a group of Florida educators at public universities who are now severely limited from engaging in classroom instruction and dialogue about important issues related to race and gender.

In March of last year, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals left in place a preliminary injunction blocking this discriminatory law, reaffirming the serious injury posed to educators and students by this law.

WHO: Leah Watson, Emerson Sykes, and Sarah Hinger of the ACLU, and Jerry Edwards and Carrie McNamara from the ACLU of Florida will be in court arguing that this law violates the plaintiffs’ First and 14th Amendment rights by imposing viewpoint-based restrictions on educators and students, which are also unconstitutionally vague.

The plaintiffs in the case — Florida professors LeRoy Pernell, Jennifer Sandoval, and Sharon Austin — are also expected to be in attendance and will be available for interviews before and after arguments.

WHEN: Arguments begin on Thursday, June 13 at 9 a.m. ET with Pernell scheduled to go second. (Note: Given security, we recommend arriving 15 minutes early)

WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit (99 N.E. 4th Street, Miami, Florida 33132)

Livestream available here:

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